Lone dissenter on Maine task force

NFOIC board president and Maine Freedom of Information Coalition member lone dissenter on Maine task force recommendation to digitize public records yet restrict online access to attorneys only. Read more……

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Maine lawmakers routinely use private email for public business

Private email for public business was a front and center controversy during the presidential election.

Now the I-Team discovers some Maine lawmakers routinely bypass the state email server and use their personal accounts for state business, raising questions of transparency and accountability.

Even when they're in session, most Maine lawmakers are never far from their devices and their emails, in constant contact with lobbyists, donors, and their constituents.

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South Portland Police Department releases its body camera policy

The South Portland Police Department has released the document that spells out its officers should use the body cameras that they will begin wearing in a few weeks.

The department posted the policy on its Facebook page following calls from civil liberties advocates for assurance the the cameras will not be used to invade people’s privacy. The policy was not initially released when the department announced that it would begin using the technology. The ACLU of Maine filed a public records request for the document, according Legal Director Zach Heiden.

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Lawmaker’s call to stop recording Maine legislative committees thwarted

In what could be a blow to public access to Maine’s State House proceedings, Sen. Garrett Mason, R-Lisbon, is questioning whether legislative committee meetings should continue to be recorded and archived.

Streamed online, the public meetings of the Legislature and its standing committees are available to anyone with an Internet connection. The sessions are also digitally recorded and are made available upon request to those who ask for them. Also streamed, recorded and archived are the proceedings of the state House and Senate. 

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Editorial: Fine would teach Maine education funding panel about open meetings law

The first meeting this week of a special state commission on education funding has made clear that the panel has a lot to learn about government transparency and accountability.

The group flouted Maine’s open-meetings law by getting together behind closed doors. Each member of the commission could now face a hefty fine – and they should, if the public’s right to know is to stand for anything.

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A Year of Progress and Achievement for Maine Government Technology

Throughout 2015, the state of Maine, in partnership with its eGovernment portal provider InforME, made significant strides and advancements to the state’s web presence (www.Maine.gov) creating new ways for citizens and businesses to engage with government online. These advancements have further cemented Maine’s web presence as one of the best government websites in the nation.

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Transparency bill gets second life in Maine Legislature

A state senator from Cape Neddick is hoping her initiative aimed at improving government transparency will be revived this week.

Democrat Dawn Hill will have to convince at least one Republican leader to support her efforts to enhance the flow of information between state agencies and the Legislature. The legislative council rejected Hill's bill last month along party lines, but the sponsor says there are new developments that warrant a second look.

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