National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

Transparency Watch: Billions Spent on D.C. School Improvement Yet Auditor Says Public In the Dark

Sparkling new buildings are in the works in the ongoing modernization of D.C. schools, begun in 2006 and slated for $1.3 billion more in Mayor Muriel Bowser’s six-year plan. But the D.C. Council’s auditor reported Wednesday (1) that the program “failed to comply with D.C. Code and lacks accountability, transparency and basic financial management.”

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D.C. FOIA Called Complex, Time-Consuming, Befuddling and Sometimes Fruitless in New Jail Study

Advocates for reform of DC Jail reported Thursday (11) on six recommendations about facilities and programs, but they save the seventh to blast the District government for how hard it had been to track down facts about the Jail and the privately-run annex, CTF.

"Public records are difficult to obtain," wrote the authors. "The process for obtaining public records regarding the District's correctional system is complex, time-consuming, occasionally befuddling, and sometimes fruitless."  

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D.C. police chief clashes with public advocates over body camera footage

When she testified at a hearing last month in favor of making police body-worn camera videos accessible to the public, the District’s chief open government advocate, Traci Hughes, suggested the police department’s reasoning for limiting access to the footage was flawed.

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DC emergency dispatchers also slow to respond to FOIA requests

D.C.’s Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (FEMS) is regularly investigated for its inefficient responses to life-threatening emergencies. Recent examples include a man who collapsed next to a fire station and died after receiving no immediate help; a man who died after police apparently shooed away an ambulance; and just last month, a toddler who died after choking on a grape, when emergency personnel a block away were not dispatched.

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