FOIA lawsuit uncovers how the Obama administration killed FOIA reform

The Obama administration has long called itself the most transparent administration in history. But newly released Department of Justice (DOJ) documents show that the White House has actually worked aggressively behind the scenes to scuttle congressional reforms designed to give the public better access to information possessed by the federal government.

The documents were obtained by the Freedom of the Press Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports journalism in the public interest, which in turn shared them exclusively with VICE News.


When publishing open data, cities and states have variety of platform choices

The Louisville Metro Government in Kentucky started its open data efforts in 2011 with a homegrown Web portal, and is now automating the publishing processes and using the data for performance improvement.

As it does so, Louisville is working with a handful of vendors specializing in open data catalog publishing. “We are at a crossroads,” said Jason Ballard, director of the Department of Information Technology.


Do universities, research institutions hold the key to open data’s next chapter?

Government produces a lot of data — reams of it, roomfuls of it, rivers of it.

It comes in from citizen-submitted forms, fleet vehicles, roadway sensors and traffic lights. It comes from utilities, body cameras and smartphones. It fills up servers and spills into the cloud. It’s everywhere. And often, all that data sits there not doing much.

A governing entity might have robust data collection and it might have an open data policy, but that doesn’t mean it has the computing power, expertise or human capital to turn those efforts into value.


Appointees to key positions in Nevada remain little-known to taxpayers

Nevada's Public Employees Retirement System, with more than $34 billion in assets, is overseen by a panel of seven public-sector workers appointed by the governor.

But as a recent nationwide report from the Center for Public Integrity and Global Integrity pointed out, Nevada taxpayers don't know much about the individuals charged with managing the state retirement system for nearly all state and local government employees.


NYC Mayor’s open government record would get a ‘D’ under his own grading system

It's a tale of two de Blasios.

As public advocate, Bill de Blasio criticized city agencies for failing to answer Freedom of Information Law requests from media organizations and the public in a timely manner.

But of the 741 FOIL requests Mayor Bill de Blasio's office received since the start of his term through Oct. 27, 38 percent were delayed for 60 days or more. Continue…