After nearly three years of study, dozens of regular and committee meetings, and thousands of hours in effort, the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council appears poised to recommend legislation largely unchanged from the dreadful law it was tasked to fix.
The council has posted on its website a reorganized draft of the state’s Freedom of Information Act, the commonwealth’s most important open government statute, and it looks frustratingly similar to existing law.
Read More… from Editorial: A lost opportunity to fix Virginia’s FOIA
If the NSA spying scandal last year exposed anything besides how controversial the parameters of “national security” are, it’s that our government isn’t as transparent as we thought. Even President Obama said he didn’t know that the U.S. Department of Defense intelligence agency was monitoring the cellphone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel for as long as 10 years.
Read More… from Editorial: Why We Need an Open Government
Why do Florida's government-in-the-sunshine laws matter so much? Because when nobody watches government closely, bad things happen.
Because democracy depends on an informed citizenry, and it's impossible to know what's happening without access to records and meetings.
Because how else would we know about the dangers of speeding cops in South Florida, or the prevalence of bear attacks in a Central Florida town, or the enormous number of sexual predators who attack again after their release?
Read More… from Editorial: Help us champion open government
Safeguarding open government is a constant struggle. Backsliding can happen easily if people aren’t vigilant.
We have a case in point right here in Sacramento on the eve of Sunshine Week, the annual series of events spotlighting the importance of public access to government.
Read More… from Editorial: Don’t pull back on open government
We're quoting from the preamble of New York state's Freedom of Information Law. It requires governments to release records of their activities, with some exceptions, so that taxpayers know where their money is being spent and how their government is performing. FOIL is a powerful tool for demanding accountability.
Read More… from Freedom of Information Law is a powerful tool to demand accountability from government