AP general counsel urges lawmakers to strengthen FOIA

Associated Press General Counsel Karen Kaiser today urged lawmakers to enact bipartisan legislation now before the U.S. Senate to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act and make it work better.

In testimony delivered to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary in Washington, Kaiser detailed the many problems journalists and the public face when seeking access to public documents.

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AP files open records lawsuits against NM governor

From Las Cruces Sun-News: SANTA FE – The Associated Press filed lawsuits Thursday against Gov. Susana Martinez and administration agencies for refusing to release records about her work and travel schedules, cell phone calls and expenses of the security officers who travel with the governor.

The lawsuits alleging violations of the Inspection of Public Records Act are the latest by media and watchdog groups against Martinez, who has promoted herself as a strong advocate of a transparent government.

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AP calls government’s record seizure a ‘massive and unprecedented intrusion’

From NBC:  WASHINGTON — The Justice Department used a secret subpoena to obtain two months of phone records for Associated Press reporters and editors without notifying the news organization, a senior department official tells NBC News, saying the step was necessary to avoid “a substantial threat to the integrity” of an ongoing leak investigation.

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Education dept. again turning down records request

From NECN.com:

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — After saying last August that a public records request would be fulfilled, Louisiana’s education department is again refusing to provide The Associated Press with records on how schools were chosen to participate in Gov. Bobby Jindal’s new statewide voucher program.

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NFOIC’s FOI Friday for March 2, 2012

A few open government and FOIA news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier:

NFOIC debuts #OpenGovVideos with interviews featuring Ken Bunting and Emily Ramshaw

The National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) announced it has introduced #OpenGovVideos, an online video project that will help tell the story of why open government is important to all citizens.

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