Virginia FOIA council looks to shore up public-records laws

Virginia’s public-records panel will explore changes to state law to address the ramifications from a recent state Supreme Court ruling that advocates have warned could have sweeping effects on government transparency.

At a meeting Wednesday, the co-chairman of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act Advisory Council said the body will look into concerns raised by Sen.-elect Scott A. Surovell, D-Fairfax, who took the Department of Corrections to court last year after being denied information about the state’s procedures for carrying out the death penalty.

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Virginia reporters school state officials on open records laws

State officials in Virginia scrambling to keep documents from the press. The governor’s office directing an agency to misrepresent open records laws. Local reporters pushing back at agency flacks about how to interpret those laws. And a response to a big Freedom of Information Act request from a newspaper that exposed how it all went down behind the scenes.

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Is police misconduct a secret in your state?

If a police officer in your community has a history of misconduct, can you find out about it? It depends where you live.

WNYC spoke to attorneys and experts in all 50 states and reviewed relevant statutes and court cases to get a national picture of a local issue. We found that a police officer's disciplinary history is effectively confidential in almost half of US states. Continue…
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NTSB’S Role in the Freedom of Information

Tomorrow, many of us will gather to celebrate Independence Day, the first step our nation took to becoming a democracy. In signing the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on July 4, 1966, President Lyndon Johnson said, “This legislation springs from one of our most essential principles: a democracy works best when the people have all the information that the security of the nation will permit.”

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Why Employees Are The Missing Link for Successful Open Government

From Gartner:

Open government initiatives are either aimed at providing greater transparency, usually as a reaction to an accusation or perception of excessive secrecy, or at engaging citizens in specific problem solution as well as service delivery. It is probably fair to say that the US federal initiatives are closer to the former, while UK initiatives are closer to the latter.

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