Results reported August 30 showed a large majority of reporters answering a survey by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and who use the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in their work support plans due in the new year that will require federal agencies to post online all records released.
Of the 107 responding, 83 per cent supported the idea, though 58 per cent did so only on condition that general release was delayed as much as a month to protect against competitors scooping the original requester.
Read More… from DCOGC Press Release: Reporters Say They Can Live With Federal Plan to Post All Records Released Under FOIA – With Delay
The D.C. Rental Housing Commission, a three-member body that sets rent ceilings, writes necessary regulations and hears appeals of decisions on rent complaints, in recent weeks has begun operating in greater sunshine.
The commission, independent in its work but administered within the Department of Housing and Community Development, for years published little online information about its activity, including when its meetings would be held, minutes afterwards, or details of hearings.
Read More… from D.C. Rental Housing Commission providing better public information; DCOGC inquiry gets results
The D.C. Housing Authority commissioners have for many months met in secret before their regular meetings, without announcement or records, to discuss a range of topics required by law to be heard in open session.
These findings came to light in an opinion letter issued this week by the District transparency watchdog, Office of Open Government.
Read More… from D.C. Open Government Office: Housing Authority must stop secret meetings
Developers of a real-time map of Metrorail trains find the data released by the regional transit agency to be “faulty, unreliable and riddled with holes," according to a Washington Post report.
The app, dubbed “MetroHero,” is available for Android and Apple devices.
Read More… from D.C. Metro ‘loses’ trains on purpose in data released to app developers, unheard of elsewhere
In a sharp attack on a longstanding limit of the home rule powers of the District of Columbia, former D.C. Attorney General Irving Nathan has called for local prosecution of serious crimes.
The 1973 law allowing some local autonomy for the District also kept some matters out of the hands of the new elected legislature, including changing anything about the longstanding prosecution duties of the U.S. Attorney here.
Read More… from Former D.C. AG scores weak transparency, accountability in D.C. prosecutions, calls on Congress for reform
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.
Read More… from DC open government office for first time raps an agency for evading mandatory no-fee, no-request publication law
In a surprise announcement, DC Delegate Eleanor Homes Norton said this week she plans to introduce legislation that would open for the first time in years the financial disclosure forms completed by D.C. judges.
Her legislative proposal will ask Congress to change requirements now in federal law that require the information on lengthy forms but also keep the details closely held.
Read More… from DC Delegate to propose end to secrecy of DC judges’ financial disclosure forms
DC Councilmembers David Grosso and Mary M. Cheh introduced a new bill to make significant changes to DC’s open government practices. Namely, the proposed piece of legislation makes tweaks to the District’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Open Meetings Act and Open Government Office Act.
The bill is a veritable laundry list of changes to the legislation above — ranging from “clarifying” various procedures and exemptions to “creating” others.
Read More… from These DC Councilmembers are trying to change FOIA
DC Council members David Grosso and Mary Cheh Tuesday introduced a sweeping set of measures to improve open government laws in the District of Columbia. Council member Anita Bonds also cosponsored the bill, the “Strengthening Transparency and Open Access to Government Amendment Act of 2016.”
Read More… from DCOGC welcomes DC Council bill to improve open government laws
With only one significant amendment, the D.C. Council Tuesday (15) passed legislation finally authorizing the Metropolitan Police Department body camera program.
Read More… from Coalition Advocacy Helps Win Public Access Victory as D.C. Council Passes Police Camera Legislation