Delays to files ‘can result in a complete denial of meaningful access,’ argues brief signed by NFOIC

The National Freedom of Information Coalition joined a Dec. 15, 2021, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press amici curiae brief. The brief, signed by 28 organizations, urges a federal appeals court to overrule a lower court that allowed Maine court clerks to delay public access to newly filed civil complaints. Maine’s recently implemented amendments…

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Group letter urges New York governor to sign bill that would enhance transparency law

The National Freedom of Information Coalition joined Reinvent Albany in urging New York Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign a bill that would enhance the state’s Freedom of Information Law. “We are asking you to sign this bill into law as part of a new and sincere commitment to fostering greater transparency in our state,” reads…

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In a blow to transparency, Virginia conceals names of government workers using credit cards

On a recommendation from its vendor, Virginia has removed government employee names from credit card expenses, a move that contradicts the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, experts say. Bank of America advised state leaders to withhold the names of people with state-issued credit cards. Bank of America said the advice is intended to reduce the…

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Boosted by Knight FOI Litigation Fund, Florida resident compels county group to meet in public

An Osceola County, Florida, judge ruled Nov. 22, 2021, that the county violated the state’s Sunshine Law by holding Executive Policy Group meetings without public notice or opportunity for the public to attend. County resident Josh Meyers for 613 days challenged the county’s assertion that the Sunshine Law did not apply to the Executive Policy…

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NFOIC seeks administrative support, invites applications from member coalitions

The National Freedom of Information Coalition Board of Directors voted Sept. 28, 2021, to invite applications from member coalitions interested in entering a contract to provide NFOIC administrative support services. Under a three-year contract, the NFOIC would provide $10,000 annually to the supporting coalition, starting July 1, 2022, in exchange for administrative duties that would…

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States with coalitions for open government are more transparent, new study finds

A study published in the August 2021 edition of The Journal of Civic Information found that states with coalitions for open government are more likely to have counties that are more transparent, resulting in faster and more complete responses, as well as greater communication, in the public records process. Marquette University’s A.Jay Wagner based the…

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NFOIC’s newest member to focus on public access, investigative journalism in Florida

The National Freedom of Information Coalition welcomes its newest member, the Florida Center for Government Accountability.  Barbara A. Petersen, executive director of the Florida Center for Government Accountability, previously served on NFOIC’s Board and as president of Florida’s First Amendment Foundation.  Petersen says the new organization will focus on public access and investigative journalism. “The Florida Center…

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NFOIC joins amicus brief supporting release of police internal affairs records in New Jersey

The National Freedom of Information Coalition and 23 other organizations joined a Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press amicus brief supporting the release of police internal affairs records in New Jersey. In July 2019, a retired New Jersey police officer submitted a New Jersey Open Public Records Act request seeking access to police internal…

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Frosty Landon, NFOIC Hall of Famer, remembered for ‘heroic’ efforts to promote open government, establish state coalitions

Frosty Landon, a one-time president of the National Freedom of Information Coalition board who was instrumental in advising new NFOIC coalitions in the 2000s, is being remembered as a hero and advocate for open government. Landon died July 19, 2021, at age 87. Landon, longtime editor of the Roanoke Times & World-News in Virginia, was…

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NFOIC Board approves budget, extends staff positions, looks for sustainable long-term model

The National Freedom of Information Board of Directors on July 16 voted to approve its FY2021-22 budget, including the extension of the outreach coordinator position to June 30, 2022. The NFOIC will dip into reserves to extend the outreach coordinator position, which would have ended Nov. 30, 2021, with the end of a grant that…

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