‘Giftgate’ prompts ethics reform

From The News Virginia: RICHMOND — Virginia has historically prided itself on its relative lack of government scandals.

But recent events — namely when Gov. Bob McDonnell accepted significant gifts from Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams — have prompted concern over the state’s system of ethical checks and balances, leaving some to question whether the law goes far enough in holding its governing officials financially accountable.

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Megan Rhyne: The press does heavy lifting on FOIA

From Richmond Times Dispatch: In 1996, when the Virginia Coalition for Open Government formed, its founders wanted to make at least one point abundantly clear: The public’s right to know is the public’s right to know. The Freedom of Information Act was not — and is not — a media law.

Statistics and anecdotal evidence at the local, state and federal level bear this out. The number of requests for records made by members of the news media pale in comparison with those made by citizens, lawyers, businesses, researchers and academics.

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Virginia FOIA Council denies Hanover’s request to review open meeting laws

From The Herald-Progress: Virginia’s FOIA Advisory Council declined Hanover County’s request to review the state’s definition of a public meeting Sept. 12.

Hanover County officials requested changing Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act to allow up to three Board members to meet in private to discuss county business without having to advertise it as a public meeting.

Visit The Herald-Progress for more.

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NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for August 30, 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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Hanover FOIA proposal gets cold reception from some organizations

From Richmond Times-Dispatch:  Hanover County’s supervisors asked for feedback on their proposal to loosen state regulations restricting private meetings of elected officials, and the reactions have been well shy of a warm welcome.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution last month asking the Virginia General Assembly to change open government regulations to allow more elected officials to meet behind closed doors without notifying the public.

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State FOIA Friday for August 2, 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.

Maine CDC official resigns over public records flap

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