After pushback from coalition, Delaware lawmaker rethinks FOIA ‘abuse’ bill

A Delaware lawmaker who backed a bill to give government officials more power to deny Freedom of Information Act requests is reconsidering the bill after open government advocates raised objections. The Delaware Coalition for Open Government opposed the bill, saying the new exemptions would make the state “one of the most restrictive states (if not…


Proposed fees and exemptions threaten public’s right to know, Delaware coalition argues

The Delaware Coalition for Open Government is urging members of the Delaware State Senate to vote no on Senate Bill 155. The bill would amend the Freedom of Information Act to allow for new legal fees, new scanning fees, new broad FOIA exemptions, new prohibitions on monetary compensation and a new shorter timeframe for the public to…


DE: FOIA access to emails resisted by Newwark councilmembers

A proposed policy aimed at ensuring government transparency and standardizing the process of releasing council members emails under the Freedom of Information Act met with fierce resistance from several council members Monday. “I have so much to say about this,” Councilman Stu Markham said, adding he has several concerns, including privacy issues for constituents who…


Delaware public records gold mine: new open data portal

Want to know which state agency buys the most pizza? Maybe you're more curious about whether your favorite restaurant passed its last inspection, the traffic counts on your road or the most popular subjects at your local library.

That's just a sample of the information that state officials say will be searchable, sortable and, in some cases, mappable come Wednesday evening when Gov. Jack Markell unveils Delaware's new open data portal – an online clearinghouse of raw statistics and other nonpersonal information collected by state agencies.


New FOIA amendment in Delaware could have #opendata repercussions

An amendment has been proposed to Delaware’s Freedom of Information Act legislation, and Mark Headd, a tech exec who specializes in open government and civic access, thinks it could be problematic for open data transparency.

First, here’s what the proposed amendment says about § 10002(l)(17)a., Title 29 of the Delaware Code (the new stuff is underlined):  Continued…


DelCOG scores major transparency victory

From NFOIC: A federal appeals court has agreed with NFOIC’s Delaware-based member organization, the Delaware Coalition for Open Government, that Delaware’s Chancery Court judges’ practice of overseeing and resolving business disputes in secret arbitrations is unconstitutional.

Following the ruling, handed down last Wednesday by the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, state and court officials, including a spokesman for Gov. Gov. Jack Markell’s office, indicated they are considering an appeal.


Residents question town manager’s meetings

From DEWEY BEACH — Citizens express concern about Town Manager Marc Applebaum’s meetings with members of the local business community, saying he should be subjected to open meeting laws, noticed and conducted in public, citing officials promise of more transparency last year after their published agendas violated the Freedom of Information Act rules.


Special Edition: NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for November 23, 2012

We so liked the State FOIA Friday this week, we thought we’d give it this second and special edition.

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:


Delaware FOIA raises questions regarding requirements


GEORGETOWN — Municipalities are scrambling to comply with what some town officials say are newly expanded requirements of the Freedom of Information Act.  The deputy attorney general for FOIA matters denies any major changes, noting a public outreach campaign is being organized to clarify open meeting requirements.


Delaware Chancery Court appeals ban on private arbitration

From The News Journal:

WILMINGTON – The Delaware Court of Chancery is asking the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals to reinstate its controversial private arbitration process that critics have called a “secret court.”

Attorneys representing Chancery Court filed a notice of appeal with the U.S. District Court in Wilmington today. The one paragraph notice did not outline the reasons for the appeal.