Study examines: Does a state constitutional right to know make a difference?

State constitutional rights guaranteeing access to information can’t hurt, and may help, when judges balance the interests of disclosure and privacy.  But there’s little evidence that a constitutional right to access produces better results directly for requesters. That’s, in part, because many variables influence the outcome of a request, particularly the state’s political culture.  Those…

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NFOIC signs brief, urging access to opinions of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court

The National Freedom of Information Coalition, along with 30 other organizations, signed a Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press amicus brief in support of greater access to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court opinions and orders. Several organizations in recent years have sought access to the specialized court’s opinions. In April 2021, the American Civil Liberties…

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In partnership with Uncovered, NFOIC provides public records training to cold-case solvers

The National Freedom of Information Coalition conducted a three-part “Public Records Bootcamp” training program in partnership with Uncovered: A Cold Case Platform. The Bootcamp, conducted three Thursday evenings in April 2021, each engaged more than 40 participants interested in using public records to help solve cold cases. “Working with NFOIC to provide this level of…

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Ensuring open meetings and enhancing police transparency top coalitions’ policy priorities

The National Freedom of Information Coalition, a national 501(c)3 nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, surveyed and questioned its state and local affiliates in the Winter and Spring of 2021 to obtain each affiliate’s top policy priorities and top perceived threats to transparency. The NFOIC released some results of its online survey in its “States of Denial” report,…

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Public should have insight into hiring of university president, says brief signed by Colorado coalition and NFOIC

A Colorado Court of Appeals ruling set a “dangerous precedent” when it sided with the University of Colorado’s decision to withhold the names and applications of all six candidates interviewed for the job of university president. That’s according to a brief filed by the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition and signed by the National Freedom…

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Reinvent Albany, NFOIC, others urge full transparency regarding COVID-19 in New York

Several organizations, including the National Freedom of Information Coalition and NFOIC member Reinvent Albany, in March wrote a letter urging New York leaders to provide full transparency about the COVID-19 emergency and the state’s response. “We are fully aware that the state’s response to the COVID-19 emergency has become controversial, and we are not calling…

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Letter, signed by NFOIC, calls for oversight hearing on agency compliance with FOIA

The National Freedom of Information Coalition joined more than two dozen organizations in calling for a hearing on federal agency compliance with the Freedom of Information Act. An April 7, 2021, letter to leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee said a hearing was necessary to understand FOIA implementation by the Trump Administration and to seek…

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Letter, signed by NFOIC, urges AG Garland to ‘breathe life’ into principles of transparency

The National Freedom of Information Coalition joined other transparency-focused nonprofit groups in urging U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland to “breathe life back into” principles of open government and accountability. An April 7, 2021, letter signed by 20 entities asked Garland to issue a memo to all government offices, establishing how to apply the Freedom…

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NFOIC aligns with cold case platform Uncovered, to leverage public records in solving mysteries

The National Freedom of Information Coalition is partnering with Uncovered: A Cold Case Platform, an interactive one-stop-shop cold case database that visualizes missing and murdered case information. Co-founders Ashlee Fujawa and Rachel Rosslet created Uncovered to bring together technology, data and the public, in an effort to have a collective impact for the families of…

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‘States of Denial’ report: Exemptions pose greatest threat to government transparency

Lax enforcement, high fees, hostility also erode ‘sunshine laws,’ public’s right to know Contact: David Cuillier, NFOIC Board president Phone: 520-248-6242   Email: nfoic@nfoic.org GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA, March 15, 2021 — The greatest threats to government transparency today are continued secrecy provisions added to state public record laws, particularly exemptions intended to protect personal privacy and police information. That’s according to open…

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