Open record requests showing huge gaps in police officer training contribute to chief’s retirement

Bedford (TX) police chief Jeff Gibson announced Monday afternoon he is retiring after 23 years with the city. The announcement came a month after Gibson was questioned during a Sept. 22 city council work session when the mayor accused him of making false statements about the level of training officers received and of failing to…


Panel opposes tweaks to Arkansas public-records law

The Arkansas Freedom of Information Act Task Force on Monday voted on four proposed tweaks to the public-records law, erring on the side of more disclosure and transparency in each case. The committee — tasked with making recommendations to the Arkansas General Assembly on amendments to the state Freedom of Information Act — discussed bills…


Kansas governor backs bill to open records on child deaths

TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer and the state’s top child welfare official are backing legislation to require disclosure of some records when a child dies of abuse or neglect. Colyer and Department for Children Families Secretary Gina Meier-Hummel announced Monday that they’re supporting a bill introduced last week in the Kansas House. The…


Editorial: Your FOIA in action

From Arkansas Business: We’ll leave it to the professionals to determine whether Paul Bookout, the former state senator who has admitted to misusing campaign funds, should be charged with a crime (although we’ll confess things aren’t looking good).

Ditto for whether Lt. Gov. Mark Darr’s campaign reports amount to worse than exceptionally shoddy bookkeeping.

What we do know is this: Without the state Freedom of Information Act — underused by most Arkansans — we wouldn’t know about either of these cases.


NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for June 21, 2013

A few state FOIA and local open government news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier in the week. While you're at it, be sure to check out State FOIA Friday Archives.


Advocates, journalists honored for supporting open government


Sunshine Week a dark time this year


Thank goodness the legislators across the state let us know they support Arkansas’ vanguard Freedom of Information Act. Routinely, they begin conversations saying, “I support the Freedom of Information Act.” If a “but” follows that opening clause, well, at least we know where they stand about the people’s right to know what their government is doing.