NFOIC’s newest member to focus on public access, investigative journalism in Florida

The National Freedom of Information Coalition welcomes its newest member, the Florida Center for Government Accountability.  Barbara A. Petersen, executive director of the Florida Center for Government Accountability, previously served on NFOIC’s Board and as president of Florida’s First Amendment Foundation.  Petersen says the new organization will focus on public access and investigative journalism. “The Florida Center…


Knight FOI Litigation Fund supports another pandemic-related open meetings lawsuit

        July 6, 2020 For Immediate Release Contact: Daniel Bevarly Executive Director, NFOIC 352-294-7082 Another instance where the pandemic has been used by a public body to validate holding a public meeting without the public (17 meetings actually) has resulted in another lawsuit. Although COVID-19 has created challenges for state and…


Judge orders Florida Governor Rick Scott to release travel, campaign records; Governor will appeal

A judge on Wednesday ordered Gov. Rick Scott to release about three months’ worth of meeting schedules and travel plans — including upcoming campaign events — and rejected his argument that the information should remain secret for security reasons. Circuit Judge Charles Dodson in Tallahassee ruled in favor of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. The group…


News Release – State/Local government FOI audits reveal administrative shortcomings

News Release May 30, 2018 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Daniel Bevarly  (239) 823-1811 ·   State/Local government FOI audits reveal administrative shortcomings  Charging different fees for the same public record. Refusing to allow residents to use their cell phones to copy records and save money. The absence of online content to provide necessary information…


Report Documents Florida’s Lack of Accountability for Public Records Requests

                  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   Report Documents Florida’s Lack of Accountability for Public Records Requests   Percent of Requests with Fees and Amount Collected Varies Widely from County to County   Gainesville, Fla., April 16, 2018  Despite having some of the most open public records laws in the country, Florida’s lack of accountability…


Florida legislature adds to the more than 1,000 exceptions to public records law

TALLAHASSEE  Nearly a dozen new exemptions to public records are poised to become law after this year’s legislative session, as lawmakers chipped away at what information is available to the public under the state’s Sunshine Law. At least two of those exemptions — crafted as part of the state’s response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas…


Florida First Amendment Foundation 2017 Legislative Review

The Florida First Amendment Foundation worked hard throughout Florida's legislative session to advocate for open government and freedom of information. They just released their final report for the 2017 session, which can be found with their weekly reports.

The reports can be found here.


If Fla. Gov. Rick Scott signs this bill, 2.7 million criminal records vanish from public view

More than 2.7 million criminal records will be sealed and the arrest records of hundreds of thousands of people will be concealed under a bill heading to Gov. Rick Scott’s desk.

An open records advocacy group is sounding the alarm and calling for Scott to veto the bill, warning it could hide the backgrounds of dangerous people.


Florida First Amendment Foundation Challenges Sunshine Law Exemption

Florida lawmakers are considering letting local officials meet one on one, outside of the public eye. But a first amendment advocate says the change could encourage corruption.

Florida’s sunshine laws require government meetings to be noticed and open to the public. But some lawmakers want to let local officials meet one on one. They wouldn’t be able to take votes or discuss publicly funded projects. But that doesn’t satisfy Barbara Petersen with the First Amendment Foundation.