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 […]
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 […]
The board of D.C.’s only public hospital has relented in its fight to keep secret its discussion and December vote to close the hospital’s obstetrics unit. The board of United Medical Center last week released an archived audio recording of a closed meeting at which members took that vote, which left the nation’s capital without […]
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.
The District of Columbia, citing the "novelty" of this Open Meetings Act enforcement action, got more time over the holidays for the mayor's Caribbean Community Affairs Commission to figure out its next step in the case. The commission is one of the D.C. mayor's many public advisory bodies, and is alleged to have failed in fulfilling the law's requirements to inform the public in advance about meetings and to furnish a record of each meeting promptly afterwards.
Flexing its enforcement muscle in court for the first time, the Office of Open Government has filed suit against the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Caribbean Community Affairs. D.C. law gives the independent Office power to go to court to enforce the D.C. Open Meetings Act.
According to the lawsuit filed in D.C. Superior Court, the Commission failed to post agendas or minutes of 11 meetings this year as the law requires. The lawsuit also says the Commission continued to meet without following the legal requirements despite repeated communications and offers of help.
Calling the agency “woefully out of compliance” with the District’s Freedom of Information Act, the DC Office of Open Government issued an opinion Friday finding the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) failed to post records of building permits required to be available free online. Instead, according to the opinion, the agency disobeyed the law two ways, first by requiring an ANC Commissioner asking for a copy of a permit file to submit a FOIA request, then sending it to be processed by a private copy service that could charge its own fees.