Montana, Bozeman launch online data portal for public information

Bozeman has joined the state of Montana’s open government push as the first city to publish local databases on a state website. The website, data.mt.gov, contains 36 datasets. It includes all public information about the facilities leased by the state and employee pay information, among other databases. Four datasets from the city of Bozeman include all building permits issued since 1996 and city zoning districts.

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Ruling issued in Iron County (MT) FOIA case

A resolution has been reached in the case of an Iron County Medical Care Facility (ICMCF) resident who filed a civil lawsuit against the facility, alleging that it had not lawfully complied with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Enacted federally in 1966, FOIA allows citizens to obtain access to public records with some exceptions. The state of Michigan passed its own version of FOIA in 1976.

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In Montana, Government transparency improves

Montana is one of the most improved states in transparency and online access to government spending information, a study by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund showed.

The report, released this week, gave Montana a transparency score of 86 or a B. Montana’s score was 57 or a D in 2013. Montana was ranked as one of the top 10 most improved states in government transparency by the group.

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