Iowa is denying the public access to some records of its COVID-19 response

Gov. Kim Reynolds’ administration has denied some requests for information about Iowa’s preparedness and response to the novel coronavirus by citing a broad exemption in the state’s public records law. Two Iowa agencies have denied Des Moines Register requests this month seeking documentation of the state’s pandemic response plan and daily reports regarding the state’s response to the virus and COVID-19,…

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Local Governments Are Hard to Find as Coronavirus Ends Public Meetings

Communities across the country are finding themselves in a bind as they try to pass urgent legislation to combat the coronavirus pandemic at the same time public meetings are impossible. Open-government advocates say many city councils, school boards and other governing bodies are failing at the task, holding meetings that are inaccessible to the public, rushing actions…

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Retrospect – Celebrating Sunshine Week During the COVID-19 Crisis

As a nation, we have celebrated the week of James Madison’s birthday (March 16) as Sunshine Week for 15 years. Throughout the week, news outlets and open government advocacy groups issue articles and reports on the public’s right to know what its government is doing. Meetings scheduled during Sunshine Week allow journalists, educators, librarians, civic…

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The FOI-L listserv moves to NFOIC

For Immediate Release (11/07/2019) Contact: Daniel Bevarly Executive Director, NFOIC dbevarly@nfoic.org 352-294-7082 After 25 years being hosted at the University of Syracuse, the national FOI-L listserv has relocated to the University of Florida and the National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC).  The owner/manager of  the FOI-L listserv, Barbara Fought is stepping down. Ms. Fought began it as a…

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From bad bills come bad laws: A proactive prescription for restoring trust in government and democracy

The report from the Knight Commission on Trust, Media and Democracy, explores the disconnect between the public, the press and our public institutions, notably government. The report concludes we are in a watershed moment and must make reforms in our media and civic infrastructure. The report advances a series of recommendations aimed at the news media, civic educators and…

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Nominations sought for the State Open Government Hall of Fame

Nominations sought for the State Open Government Hall of Fame January 14, 2019 The National Freedom of Information Coalition is seeking nominations for this year’s “Heroes of the Fifty States,” the Open Government Hall of Fame. The open government hall of fame recognizes individuals for their “long and steady effort to preserve and protect the…

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New NFOIC White Paper looks at the rising issue of “burdensome” public record requests

  News Release December 3, 2018 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Daniel Bevarly  (352) 294-7082 · dbevarly@nfoic.org   NFOIC White Paper: “Beast or Burden: Nuisance, vexatious, or burdensome  public records requests” A growing concern among news organizations and open government advocates is the labeling of a certain type of public records request as vexatious, unduly burdensome,…

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Reforms to solve open government challenges dominate FOI Summit

The National Freedom of Information Coalition concluded its 2018 FOI Summit in Cincinnati. The annual two-day conference features presentations from open government experts and practitioners on trending government issues in state and local public institutions. Attendees include NFOIC’s state coalition directors, journalists, media lawyers and first amendment watchdogs. This year’s conference included candid discussions about…

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NFOIC requests Google disable Gmail “self-destructing” feature for government communiqués

      News Release May 4, 2018 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Daniel Bevarly  (239) 823-1811 · dbevarly@nfoic.org   NFOIC requests Google disable Gmail “self-destructing” feature for government communiqués New feature undermines open government and records retention laws The National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) has contacted Google about Gmail’s new “self-destructing” email feature. The…

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Recent legislative actions in Kentucky, Iowa and Washington demonstrate urgent need for state FOI and open government reforms

      NEWS RELEASE March 23, 2018 Contact: Daniel Bevarly  •  239.823.1811 dbevarly@nfoic.org   Recent legislative actions in Kentucky, Iowa and Washington demonstrate urgent need for state FOI and open government reforms Existing laws directing state government transparency and accountability to residents are under threat. Three recent actions by state legislatures in Kentucky, Washington…

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