National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

Editorial: In Minnesota, transparency key to government

As Fergus Falls City Council candidates sat in the Kennedy Secondary Auditorium Tuesday, a question on transparency was posed in one of the two debates. Several of the responses stated that council members believed that the city was doing their best to be transparent to their constituents. Whether this was by publishing the council minutes […]

Read More… from Editorial: In Minnesota, transparency key to government

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 […]

Read More… from Governors Association Works with Eight States to Improve Health Data Sharing

Exceptions growing to government transparency in Minnesota

Exceptions to government transparency are growing in Minnesota as lobbyists for local officials, law enforcement and businesses gain exemptions under the state's public records law.

The number of secrecy provisions in Minnesota's public records law has risen to at least 660, the Star Tribune reported Sunday in a story kicking off Sunshine Week, an annual nationwide celebration of access to public information.

[…]

Read More… from Exceptions growing to government transparency in Minnesota

Editorial: Minnesota Senate’s police body-cam bill hinders public access

From the 1991 Rodney King beating in California to the 2014 shooting death of Laquan McDonald in Chicago, nothing had more impact on the public than the video evidence. And, in cities across the nation, video of police-citizen interactions have helped inform the debate over police conduct.

In fact, that’s the point behind efforts to equip all cops with body cameras. Along with dashcams, surveillance camera footage and cellphone video, body cams can help give the most accurate accounts of what happens as police officers do their jobs.

[…]

Read More… from Editorial: Minnesota Senate’s police body-cam bill hinders public access

As Minnesota cities prune email archives, watchdogs worry

Local governments around Minnesota are slimming email archives by setting strict limits on how long employees can keep messages.

Officials contend it’s about efficiently managing data received or sent by thousands of workers. But government watchdogs say it’s coming at the expense of transparency. Continue…

———————

[…]

Read More… from As Minnesota cities prune email archives, watchdogs worry

State agency rejects request by cops to classify body camera footage as private

A state agency has rejected a request by several Minnesota police departments to classify body camera footage as private, saying that state law should clarify how the data is handled in the wake of the fast-growing technology.

Law enforcement agencies had argued current state law did not adequately address the issue of addressing both a citizen’s right to privacy and the public’s right to information. Continue…

[…]

Read More… from State agency rejects request by cops to classify body camera footage as private

Editorial: Reject request to make all police body camera data private in Minnesota

Sixteen Minnesota cities have asked the state to declare most information gathered by police bodies cameras in way too many instances as private information.

The reason for the request: The state legislature has been unable to decide what is public information on video and audio gathered by police body cameras, in large part because it is a very complex issue. Continue…

[…]

Read More… from Editorial: Reject request to make all police body camera data private in Minnesota

Minneapolis VA fighting release of names tied to brain injury exams

In the wake of disclosures that unqualified doctors performed hundreds of brain injury exams at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, the Department of Veterans Affairs is now refusing to release the names of doctors who performed initial traumatic brain injury (TBI) exams at other VA facilities across the country.

[…]

Read More… from Minneapolis VA fighting release of names tied to brain injury exams