At least three federal government agencies have agreed to seemingly conceal official communications with a congressional committee from public information requests, following letters sent last month by the chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services.
Read More… from These Federal Agencies Agreed To Conceal Some Of Their Communications From The Public
The Hartford region's water-and-sewer agency has invoked a little-used federal Department of Homeland Security anti-terrorism restriction to block citizens' access to what once was public information about its water-supply system.
Critics are blasting the legal maneuver by the Metropolitan District, known as the MDC, to have its water supply plan designated as "protected critical infrastructure information" by the homeland security department — under a post-9/11 program designed to prevent damage to public facilities by terrorists.
Read More… from CT: Public Utility Uses Federal Anti-Terrorism Measure To Block Release Of Document To Critic
In 1966, Congress enacted the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to create a legal regime under which the American public could gain access to information about its government’s activities. In keeping with Justice Brandeis’s observation that “sunlight is the best disinfectant,” FOIA has become an invaluable tool in forcing information of national interest into the open, and of revealing instances of government waste, fraud, and abuse.
Read More… from Watermelons and National Security: Protecting U.S. Foreign Intelligence Collection from Unnecessary Disclosure
State legislators are accusing the University of Virginia of dodging a request for records related to its $2.3 billion Strategic Investment Fund.
A letter signed by 11 lawmakers claims the university’s records dump last week included many omissions, such as responses by UVa President Teresa A. Sullivan. Continue…
Read More… from Lawmakers dissatisfied with UVa’s response to Strategic Investment Fund inquiry
This month, the U.S. Freedom of Information Act turned 50. But the passage of time has not slowed the pace of threads toward it and, transitively, toward the American public.
Read More… from Op-Ed: Court wrong to make police mugshots private
It seems that two and a half years may not prove enough time to coalesce Virginia's various ideas of what constitutes a trade secret into a single code section that clarifies, among other things, what documents companies that do business with the government can shield from public view.
Read More… from Virginia: Confusing “proprietary” FOIA exemption proves tricky to change
In the 2015 fiscal year, the U.S. federal government processed 769,903 Freedom of Information requests. The government fully fulfilled only 22.6 percent of those requests; 44.9 percent of federal FOIA requests were either partially or fully denied. Even though the government denied at least part of more than 345,000 requests, it only received 14,639 administrative appeals.
Read More… from MuckRock is launching a national database of FOIA exemptions
South Carolina’s Freedom of Information law contains two significant and frequently used exemptions. The first is for lawmakers. Having written the FOIA law, they have exempted themselves, as have lawmakers in many other states.
Read More… from South Carolina: What Isn’t Covered by the Attorney-Client Exemption to FOIA?
Most of us saw recent news accounts of a Chicago police officer involved shooting that occurred one year ago. The dashcam video of that tragic incident shows a young man being shot in the back. Evidence was released last week that the young man was shot 14 more times as he lay on the ground, purportedly by the same officer’s gun.
That it took one year for that particular investigation to play out and for an arrest to be made is impossible to comprehend.
Read More… from Editorial: South Carolina bill would streamline FOIA process
RICHMOND – A Virginia law that allows government officials, from the governor to mayors to college presidents, to shield a wide swath of documents from public view deserves a closer look, a small state committee reviewing Virginia's Freedom of Information Act said Thursday.
Read More… from Virginia: FOIA group agrees to look at ‘working papers’ exemption