New law in San Diego firms up government transparency

The San Diego City Council voted unanimously Monday to fix a vaguely worded law requiring anyone doing business with the city to disclose their identities. The action follows an inewsource investigation that began 16 months ago that showed the law was being ignored. “This has been important to me,” said Councilwoman Barbara Bry, “to make…


California: Bill Intended to Bring Transparency to CPUC Passes Senate Energy Committee

A bill intended to bring increased transparency to the California Public Utilities Commission passed the California Senate Energy Committee Tuesday.

Assembly Bill 825, introduced by Assemblyman Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood), would establish an independent authority to investigate the CPUC. It would also create a Public Advisor within the Commission to put transparency measures in place.  Continue>>>


Media organizations ask the California Supreme Court to hear Californians Aware and Voice of OC’s case

From Voice of OC: The Los Angeles Times, the corporate parent of the Orange County Register and the 800-member California Newspaper Publishers Association are urging the state Supreme Court to overturn a gag order obtained by Orange County that allows it to keep documents secret that show what top officials knew about alleged sexual abuse of female workers.


Pensions, lawsuits, gifts revealed on new city hall site for Sunshine Week

From KPBS:

Marking Sunshine Week in San Diego, Mayor Bob Filner on Thursday unveiled a new section of the city website that makes good on his promise for open government—putting in one place information on the pensions being paid city retirees as well as all lawsuits involving City Hall.

With his open-government chief Donna Frye standing beside him, he displayed what Frye called one of the most transparent city sites in the state, if not the nation.


Celebrating International Sunshine Week In Oakland with more open government (community voices)

From Oakland Local:

This past week was “International Sunshine Week,” a national initiative dedicated to educating the American public about the importance of open and accessible government.

Here in Oakland, we have done a lot in recent days to advance the cause of open local government, so we too had much to celebrate last week.


Call for nominations – SPJ presents its 28th James Madison Awards

From Society of Professional Journalists:

The James Madison Freedom of Information Awards recognize Northern California organizations and individuals who have made significant contributions to advancing freedom of information and expression in the spirit of James Madison, the creative force behind the First Amendment. SPJ NorCal presents the awards during National Freedom of Information Week near Madison’s birthday, March 16.


Court: California university must move to disclose venture returns

From Reuters:

SAN FRANCISCO (Oct 23, 2012) – The University of California must try to obtain and then disclose closely guarded information on the investment performance of venture capital funds managed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital, a state judge said in a tentative ruling made public on Tuesday.


NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for October 5, 2012

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:

Advocates fight to keep Georgia archives open to public