Sunshine Week Blog Post from NEFAC – Fallout from 38 Studios and the State of Open Government in Rhode Island

When Gov. Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island and members of the state’s House of Representatives recently demanded that records relating to one of the biggest and most publicized loan investigations in the state be made public, it was an early Sunshine Week gift for the public and especially for advocates of open government.

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RI: Legislation would shield college research from APRA requests

A group of local legislators are trying to protect researchers and scientists at the state’s higher education institutions public records requests prior to completing their research. On Tuesday, a bill sponsored by Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski (Dist. 37-South Kingstown, New Shoreham), was heard before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and a companion House bill introduced by Rep. Carol Hagan-McEntee (Dist. 33-South Kingstown, Narragansett), has been held for further study.

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NEFAC: A Win for Open Records That Wasn’t

This should be a happy Access to Public Records Act story, but — spoiler alert — it’s not.

Valley Breeze reporter Ethan Shorey filed an APRA complaint with the Rhode Island Attorney General when the City of Pawtucket refused to provide him a list of vacant and abandoned properties it routinely shared with members of the City Council. Three weeks ago, the Attorney General’s office ruled that the document needed to be handed over. So why is this ruling a loss for open government instead of a victory?

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State FOIA Friday for August 9, 2013

From NFOIC:  A few state FOIA and local open government news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier in the week.

While you're at it, be sure to check out State FOIA Friday Archives.

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Despite 2012 open-records law, less information is made public in R.I.

From Providence Journal:  PROVIDENCE — Last September, at least on paper, Rhode Island was supposed to become a more transparent state.

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But there seems to be confusion over the interpretation of the law among police departments and state agencies, which in many instances are releasing less rather than more information.

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NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for February 22, 2013

A few state FOIA and local open government news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier in the week. While you're at it, be sure to check out State FOIA Friday Archives.

Bill adds teeth to state laws on open meetings, records

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RI attorney general hosting open government summit

From Providence Journal:

State Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin and his staff are hosting a summit for newly elected and appointed officials focused on the state’s Access to Public Records Act and Open Meetings Act next month.

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The summit will be held on Jan. 8 at the Community College of Rhode Island’s Lincoln campus from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

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NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for August 31, 2012: Open government news from the states

A few state FOIA and local open government news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier in the week:

Know Your Rights: Open Records in Rhode Island

What is APRA?: The Access to Public Records Act, or APRA, is the Rhode Island state law that gives individuals the right to see and obtain public records. The law provides guidelines for obtaining access to these records, and also defines which records are subject to public inspection and which are exempt.

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NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for July 13, 2012

A few state FOIA and local open government news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier in the week:

ACLU sues over attorney general's refusal to release records

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey has filed a lawsuit arguing that the state Attorney General's Office is breaking the law by refusing to release records concerning topics ranging from state police overtime to investigative procedures.

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The most secretive government agencies in Rhode Island

From GoLocalProv:

The most secretive government agencies in Rhode Island are also the smallest, with local fire districts and towns accounting for more than half of the nearly 30 agencies that racked up the most violations of state laws on open meetings and public records, a GoLocalProv analysis has found.

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