Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms’ Transparency Officer Legislation Moves Forward

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ promise to create a new Transparency Officer is a step closer to going before the Atlanta City Council for a vote. Legislation that represented a collaboration between the Mayor, the City Council and local media outlets was approved unanimously by the Finance/Executive Committee. “There is no city in the state of…

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Mill Creek (WA) manager seeks $1 million in damages from city

“The City Attorney (Scott Missall) and Mayor Pro Tem (Brian Holtzclaw) told Mrs. Polizzotto that the council asked them to convey to Mrs. Polizzotto that it was unanimous in its position that it did not want Mrs. Polizzotto to leave city employment, and further conveyed that she had the support of the entire council.” By…

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San Diego Pushes for Further Transparency with New Open Records Portal

The city of San Diego used to have a performance measure for its handling of public records requests.The Human Resources Department, which processes such inquiries, listed “percent of public records act requests completed within mandated timeline” as a key performance indicator in city budgets. In 2013, about 75 percent were completed in the required 10 days. The measure increased to 84 percent in 2014 and 85 percent in 2015.

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Troy (MI) resident seeks records after city manager scrutiny

Frustrated at being stonewalled on getting records on the activities of Troy’s city manager, a city resident has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the city. Ann Erickson Gault wants disclosure of public documents she requested regarding City Manager Brian Kischnick. The lawsuit, which was assigned to Oakland Circuit Judge Nanci Grant, not only seeks the requested documents about his city-owned vehicle and other matters but also the awarding of to-be-determined damages, including attorney fees, for allegedly violating the state’s open records law.

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Technology and data analytics should transform municipal government, professors say

Rarely is the term "city hall" considered synonymous with the words "innovation" or "efficiency." Too often, the public image of municipal government is of a static bureaucracy staffed with disinterested clock-watchers focused on petty tasks and arcane processes.

But two Harvard authorities on government and technology say it doesn't have to be that way.

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Washington D.C. launches FOIA portal, transparency initiative

Washington D.C.has launched a new effort to process Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. A new online portal will make it possible for individuals to submit requests and have them processed online. The new portal, powered by “FOIAXpress,” is the District’s first-ever citywide FOIA processing system. Mayor Gray also issued an executive order that mandates that the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) hire a Chief Data Officer (CDO) to assist in the deployment and to help coordinate additional open data programming.

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