Florida government agencies that lose lawsuits filed by people seeking access to public records will have to pay plaintiffs’ attorney fees, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday in a Jacksonville-based case.
And it doesn’t matter if the agency didn’t know it was breaking Florida’s public records laws when it denied or limited access to records, the court ruled.
Read More… from Florida Supreme Court: Board must pay in public records case
Over the past several years, efforts have been made to remove identifiers from public records due to concerns over identity theft.
Many federal, state and local public agencies and courts are actively considering whether to remove or redact identifiers from public records and documents.
Read More… from Op-ed: Removing birthdate from Iowa court records could have unintended consequences
The Tennessee Legislature has passed a bill that will require nearly every government office across the state to tell citizens how they can get public records.
The measure first directs the open records counsel in the state comptroller’s office to come up with a model public records policy that local government agencies could adapt. The legislation would then require government offices to have a written public records policy by July 17, 2017.
Read More… from New Tennessee law could make requesting public records less confusing
Rhode Island General Treasurer Seth Magaziner's office is charging more than $10,000 for Forbes' columnist Edward Siedle's investigation into the Rhode Island pension system's real estate investments, which Siedle identified in December as the fund's "worst performing asset class by far."
Read More… from Rhode Island Treasurer demanding $10K for Forbes’ public records request
The group has been a fierce advocate for transparency, regularly championing investigations that rely on public documents to hold government officials accountable.
But over the past year, the Union of Concerned Scientists, a Cambridge-based advocacy group that represents thousands of scientists around the country, has campaigned to limit the scrutiny of scientists who work for public universities and agencies through public records requests.
Read More… from How public must science be? Union of Concerned Scientists would limit disclosures
Government emails about the Flint water crisis stirred public outrage in Michigan when year-old messages showed the governor’s staff knew the danger of tap water contamination but took no action.
Here in Colorado, as the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition reported last year, government email records more than a few months old may already be lost.
Read More… from Retention of government emails in Colorado ‘an honor system thing’
When we kicked off Sunshine Week, we noted that FOIA reform — already passed by the House — was being considered by the Senate.
Now, with some important modifications, it has passed the Senate, so let's take a look at what will change for requesters.
The first thing to know is that the FOIA reform that passed the House and Senate is actually two different bills, S.337 and H.R.653. Continue…
Read More… from FOIA reform passes! Now what’s actually in it?
New Jersey taxpayers are on the hook for more than $1 million for the state’s failed attempts to keep records secret over the last four years, according to data obtained by The Associated Press.
The information, obtained through the state’s Open Public Records Act, shows that the state paid out $1,076,013 in taxpayer money reimbursing plaintiffs’ lawyers fees in 54 cases from January 2012 through March 4.
Read More… from New Jersey’s public records fights prove costly
When the editor of a gay-oriented newspaper in Florida requested records that he thought should be public, he cast a wide net, asking that the email of every employee of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office be searched for specific gay slurs over a five-month period.
Read More… from Obtaining police emails can take months, cost thousands
A bill that would expand an exemption in Idaho’s public records law is expected to be amended to address the concerns of reporters and open government advocates.
House Bill 447 was written by the city of Idaho Falls. Mayor Rebecca Casper, City Attorney Randy Fife and Idaho Falls Power General Manager Jackie Flowers were in Boise on Wednesday to advocate that the Senate State Affairs Committee recommend the law be passed.
Read More… from Idaho public records exemption to be softened