National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

Sunshine Week highlights need for openness

Opinion from Herald Zeitung:

Every year, the American public’s right to know is marked with Sunshine Week. This year’s observance begins Sunday and runs through March 16.

Newspapers, which campaign incessantly for open government and freedom of information, will take the opportunity next week to remind readers and public officials of the laws that demand transparency in government.

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State Bar of Texas sues Attorney General Greg Abbott over records in investigation into misused funds

From Texas Watchdog:

The State Bar of Texas is suing the office of Attorney General Greg Abbott over an open records decision earlier this month that gives a legal trade magazine access to records detailing an internal investigation by the state bar.

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Adkisson blames ‘Express’ for open records skirmish

From San Antonio Current:

"I'm not inclined to be stepped on or stomped," Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson said this week, discussing his effort to keep emails from a private account in which he discusses official county business hidden.

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NFOIC’s FOI Friday for April 6, 2012

A few open government and FOIA news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier.

Adkisson ordered to release emails

A state district judge on Thursday ruled that Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson must release messages about public business from his private email account, but the legal battle is far from over.

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Missing, altered documents raise questions for auditors looking at Houston school district

From Texas Watchdog:

Some documents went missing, and others were removed, altered and returned to the file for a contract with eight firms including Westco Ventures LLC — a company owned by a close friend of Trustee Paula Harris– an audit of the Houston schools procurement practices found.

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Records used in other states to uncover cheating on tests not open in Texas

From Watchdog.org:

While other states are finding evidence of school test score manipulation, the Texas Education Agency has managed to quash open records requests that would allow the public to investigate such a thing in this state.

In two recent open records requests, the TEA has successfully argued that the information that would make an investigation possible is not a public record.

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Bexar County commissioner presents legal arguments challenging records request for emails

From Watchdog.org:

Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson has presented his initial legal argument in a fight to keep emails from his personal account private, even though he acknowledges he was discussing public business through those emails.

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