Editorial: Cities must be open about data collection, data itself

Have you heard about “smart cities”? The idea that cities can make innovative use of data, algorithms and automation to improve services has been around for a while, but it seems to be gaining traction. Earlier this year, City Journal magazine described the “glowing futuristic predictions” in the steadily increasing number of news articles about the smart-cities…


Governors Association Works with Eight States to Improve Health Data Sharing

Eight states are in the early stages of a collaboration with the National Governors Association that could enhance their ability to use and share health-care data enterprise-wide, ultimately improving operations and services to residents. On June 13, NGA, which works with governors on public policy and governance issues, announced a health policy partnership around data best practices…


Indiana Senate Passes Hourly Fee for Public Records Searches

he Indiana Senate has approved a bill allowing government agencies to charge $20 per hour for public records requests that take more than two hours to complete.

The measure by Republican Rep. Kathy Richardson of Noblesville passed the Senate on a 44-3 vote Wednesday.

Under the proposal, the first two hours would not be billed. After that, hours spent working to complete the request would come with a bill that's the lesser of $20 per hour or the hourly wage of the employee completing the search.


Indiana Supreme Court considers whether private university police records should be open to public

Should police departments operated by private universities in Indiana be subject to the same open records requirements that apply to state, county and municipal police agencies?

The five justices of the Indiana Supreme Court wrestled with that question during 45 minutes of oral arguments Tuesday as the University of Notre Dame urged the high court to continue allowing it to keep secret all campus police records, especially those pertaining to student athletes.


Indiana Supreme Court declines to open lawmakers’ emails to public

The Indiana Supreme Court Tuesday ruled it will not force Indiana lawmakers to release their emails under the state’s public records law.

The Court says to do so would violate the state constitution’s separation of powers. Citizen advocacy groups, including the Citizens Action Coalition, filed a lawsuit to gain access to emails between a House Republican legislator and utility companies.


Indiana taxpayers footing bill for public records lawsuit

Hoosier taxpayers have paid $160,000 in legal fees to shield Indiana House and Senate communications from public view in just eight months.

The final tab will be higher because the most recent tally from the Indiana Auditor’s Office doesn’t include a bill covering the March 17 oral argument before the Indiana Supreme Court.

“That’s a lot of money,” said Kerwin Olson, executive director of the Citizens Action Coalition. “It would have been a lot cheaper just to honor the public records law.”


Indiana State auditor touts transparency portal

DANVILLE — State Auditor Suzanne Crouch is traveling the state to discuss Indiana’s transparency portal.
Crouch has met with chamber members, local governments, university students and others to share what is currently happening on the transparency portal as well as to ask for input such as how to make it more searchable and easier for the public to get answers to questions.  Continue…