South Carolina chamber’s spending not subject to open records law, Supreme Court says

The spending activities of a South Carolina tourism marketer that receives tax dollars are not subject to the state’s Freedom of Information Act, the state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday. The decision reversed a lower court’s ruling that found the Hilton Head-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce was was a public body that falls under the open records…

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SC: Public outcry for transparency in police shooting investigations clashes with public records rules

In the wake of recent police shootings, the public outcry for transparency has come head to head with law enforcement agencies’ interpretation of freedom of information laws.

The statutes outline the public’s right to records produced by government agencies but also include exemptions for law enforcement records. Those are meant for such situations as protecting the identity of a confidential informant or keeping investigative techniques hidden from criminals.

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Aiken lawmaker pressuring S.C. senator to remove objection to FOIA reform bill

Four years ago, a Wagener woman requesting copies of financial records and other records from the Town of Swansea was billed nearly $10,000 for the documents.

Aiken County taxpayers seeking records about the school district’s $236 million bond referendum and other data in 2010 didn’t receive an answer until well past the November election.  Continue…

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S.C. House public records bill advances

From The State:

A state House subcommitee approved a bill aimed at strengthening the state’s open records laws Thursday.

Sponsored by state Rep. Bill Taylor, R-Aiken, the bill seeks to amend the state’s Freedom of Information Act – the law regulating public records – to curb excessive fees charged those seeking records and ensure those requests are filled in a timely manner.

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NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for June 8, 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:

Des Moines school district says Sebring emails are public files

A Polk County district judge next week will listen to arguments regarding the release of additional personal emails sent and received on the Des Moines school district’s public account by former superintendent Nancy Sebring.

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NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for May 11, 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:

Is secrecy justified in George Zimmerman case?

On the very first day George Zimmerman faced a judge on charges of murdering Trayvon Martin, it appeared the special prosecutor and Zimmerman's attorney were working together to keep certain records secret.

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SC House approves strengthening open records law

From HeraldOnline:

The South Carolina House has approved a bill strengthening the state's open records law. The bill approved Thursday limits how much public bodies can charge for copies of documents and requires them to respond more quickly. An amendment also removes legislators' exemption from the law.

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