Texas event focuses on transparency as a way to restore trust in government

A panel of open government experts, including Kelley Shannon of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, will discuss the importance of transparency in restoring public trust in Texas government. The Sunshine Week event begins at noon Central, Thursday, March 18. Visit the Texas Public Policy Foundation website to learn more and to register….

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Open record requests showing huge gaps in police officer training contribute to chief’s retirement

Bedford (TX) police chief Jeff Gibson announced Monday afternoon he is retiring after 23 years with the city. The announcement came a month after Gibson was questioned during a Sept. 22 city council work session when the mayor accused him of making false statements about the level of training officers received and of failing to…

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Texas AG rules HHSC should release COVID-19 nursing home data

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office ruled the Texas Health and Human Services Commission should disclose most of its data on COVID-19 in nursing homes to the public, according to a July 6 ruling. Paxton’s office rejected most of the arguments the commission made to conceal COVID-19 outbreak data related to nursing homes, according to…

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Texas City Virtual meeting may have violated Open Meetings Act

The city’s first attempt Monday at holding a virtual public meeting of the city council was plagued by technical issues that made video spotty and audio sometimes impossible to hear. Moreover, it may have violated the state’s Open Meetings Act. Under Gov. Greg Abbot’s emergency declaration, meetings of more than 10 are prohibited. A temporary…

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In 2019, Another Chance to Fix the Texas Public Information Act

It’s been three years since Enrique Iglesias walked away from the Rio Grande Valley holding a proverbial sack full of taxpayer cash. He got the money in 2015 for crooning in the city of McAllen’s annual holiday concert and parade, a boondoggle that saw taxpayers losing hundreds of thousands of dollars. City officials still refuse to tell…

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Texas Supreme Court ruling shields contract details

A recent Texas Supreme Court ruling has made it easier for private companies to keep secret details of their contracts with the state and local governments, a move that public information advocates warn is ripe for abuse.

"It's one of the worst rulings to ever come out of the Texas Supreme Court," said Joe Larsen, an open government attorney who also serves on the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. Continue…

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