DCOGC: BEGA amendment will hinder public education advocacy

As a parent raising children in a city whose education system is ruled by the scandal du jour, I worry about a proposed amendment which will further entrench us into a culture of darkness. The D.C. Council’s “BEGA Amendment Act of 2018” will end the independent nature of the Office of Open Government. D.C. residents risk losing…

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DC FOIA In Action: Record Requests Proving Useful In Reporting and Civic Action

Public records obtained under the D.C. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) have again been useful in reporting and advocacy in recent weeks.  Police stops. Black Lives Matter and other community groups asked the Metropolitan Police Department for records of officers’ stops of people in the street. Such research has shed light on biased policing in other…

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Coalition Asks D.C. AG and IG to Review Actions Against Open Government

Citing “clear misinterpretations of law” in actions taken to remove the Office of Open Government director, advertise the position with incorrect limitations on its authority, and appoint an interim director without any lawful basis, D.C. Open Government Coalition president Thomas Susman has written D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine requesting appropriate action “to ensure D.C. law…

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D.C. Transparency Watch: Education Data To Get New Attention By Independent Research Unit

A new staff in the office of the legislative auditor, guided by a 16-member advisory board, could begin as early as this fall to take stock of the city’s education system, under a bill introduced April 10 by Council Member Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3) and eight cosponsors. The unit, to be called the D.C. Education…

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D.C. Council Budget Hearing Ignores Troubling Developments Affecting the Office of Open Government

The D.C. Open Government Coalition testified Friday (13) against proposed budget cuts for the Office of Open Government and in favor of a separate board of directors. OGC Government Affairs chair Bob Becker reviewed these and other problems but only the budget came up in questions, and that only briefly.  The hearing was before the…

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D.C. to Conceal Charter School Details As Comprehensive Facility Modernization Planning Begins

A frustrated D.C. Council in 2016 ordered a new analysis of school-by-school enrollment, growth plans and needed building upgrades. The dream — to end years of obscure renovation decisions by writing into law the data required, the priorities to rank needs, and plenty of public participation. Results were due in fall 2017 to help with…

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D.C. Health Decisions Behind Closed Doors: What Are the United Medical Center Trustees Hiding?

This week the board that oversees the District’s only public hospital, United Medical Center, met for a while in public but then pulled down the curtain and went out of sight. Maybe if your multi-million dollar business had only a few days cash left in its kitty, you’d hide, too. What you couldn’t hear or…

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From DCOGC: Office of Open Government First-Ever Open Meetings Act Enforcement Lawsuit Heard in Court

In this suit testing the enforcement powers in the D.C. Open Meetings Act, Superior Court Judge John Campbell heard argument last Friday (28) on pending motions from both sides for summary judgment (decision without a trial). The hearing was the first time the parties squared off in court.

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