FOI InSight, an open government newsletter
 Follow us on:  Facebook   Twitter

FOI InSight is a publication from the National Freedom of Information Coalition featuring and aggregating news and analysis about FOI and open government issues, and delivering items of interest to and about our state member organizations, partners and stakeholders. All InSight issues will be linked from this page.

We welcome suggestions for future newsletters and ask that you send us ideas for and links to news about your organization and other FOI and open government-related items and events.


Volume 2, Issue 3

Our third issue of the second year of FOI InSight includes: DelCOG scores major transparency victory … Open Government Partnership 2013 in London … Wash. Supreme Court: Governor can claim ‘executive privilege’ … NFOIC executive director discussed Colorado’s open government laws on ‘Contrary to the Public Interest’ … Virginia Coalition for Open Government will host annual conference … NMFOG: New Mexico Attorney General and Human Services Department release heavily redacted behavioral health audit … Washington Coalition for Open Government workshops in November … Biden’s office says charter study group broke open-meeting laws … Californians Aware and Voice of OC asking California Supreme Court to hear records case … Iowa Freedom of Information Council: Iowa more open with public information … FAF Sunshine Report – Volume 3 Fall 2013 … Reporters Committee, CFOIC ask court to reject James Holmes’ motion to restrict access to pleadings … Changes in Texas open government law … Hawaii’s public records: High fees are keeping public information secret … Media coalition urges better protection of First Amendment rights in NSA, FISA court matters … Media companies seek to intervene in ‘John Doe’ case … Hawaii news media seek court ruling on open trials … State FOIA Friday … Jeffrey Roberts: When public information is not public … Daniel Klau: Who misled the Sandy Hook families about crime scene photos and the Freedom of Information Act? … Gene Policinski: John Doe cast tests press freedom … Peter Scheer: NYT still has the power to alter the facts of the very story on which it is reporting … Your Right to Know: Vukmir wrong on records law … See the entire issue here.


Volume 2, Issue 2

Our second issue of the second year of FOI InSight includes: Latest winners in the Knight Community Information Challenge . . . A special sneak preview of OpenTheGovernment 2013 Secrecy Report . . . NEFAC will honor NY Times’ James Risen with Hamblett Award . . . 2013 First Amendment Foundation (Florida) Sunshine Seminars – Registration now open . . . Washington COG recognizes Kirkland for open government . . . Mackinac Center files FOIA suit against City of Westland, Mich. . . . New Mexico Foundation for Open Government sues AG’s office, HSD to release behavioral health audit . . . Linda Petersen, president of the Utah Foundation for Open Government, debates roles of government spokespersons at National Press Club event . . . Iowa FOI Council 2013 edition of annual newsletter . . . LSU presidential search records will be given to judge, but not public, under new compromise . . . Wisconsin AG says he must defend legislator’s immunity in open records lawsuit . . . Calif. voters to consider public records amendment . . . Secret Huron (S.D.) superintendent agreement opened, read aloud . . . Arkansas FOIA “Road Shows” held across the state . . . State FOIA Friday . . .  See the entire issue here.


Volume 2, Issue 1

The second year of FOI InSights starts with a slew of interesting stories, including: FOIA victory against CIA in Knight FOI Fund-supported case . . . Seattle-area Housing Authority institutes transparency reforms . . . New Mexico groups sue for release of behavioral health audit . . . First Amendment expert named to Florida legislative panel on transparency . . . Who’s counting? Boston Globe probe raises doubts on public meeting quorums . . . US seeks to shield emails about emergency network . . . State employees shoot down VA open records access bill . . . Hunting local public records is faster than federal FOIA — but with a catch . . . Public meetings and records are focus of Iowa workshops . . . NMFOG announces 2013 Dixon Freedom Award winners . . . Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana wins national award for Sunshine Headquarters . . . FOIFT awards inaugural Open Government Lawmaker of the Year Award . . . First Amendment Foudation (Florida) Training Seminars . . . Frank Gibson: Tennessee ‘sunshine’ dimmed by one watchdog’s assessment . . . Dennis Hetzel: Ohio Newspaper Association completes thorough revise of ‘Public Notice FAQ’ . . . FOI International: Countries with more established FOI laws have better human development, still perceived as corrupt . . . State FOIA Friday . . .  See the entire issue here.


Volume 1, Issue 12

Our twelfth issue of FOI InSight includes: Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas announces James Madison Award recipients … Ohio Coalition for Open Government is on the move … Hall of Fame inductee Brian Sonntag joins Freedom Foundation … Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition hires executive director … New Mexico Foundation for Open Government calls for release of health audit … Tennessee Coalition for Open Government presents Sunshine Hero award … Kansas officials learn about open meetings and open records … Craig A. Newman: Advancing Internet freedom doesn’t come for free … Mackinac Center, ACLU officials push for greater government transparency … NEFAC Open Government News for July 2013 …  See the entire issue here.


Volume 1, Issue 11

Our eleventh issue of FOI InSight includes: NSA collects phone records, user data of millions of civilians … Pressure makes Capitol backtrack on gutting California Public Records Act … Jonathan Jones named director of North Carolina Open Government Coalition … Florida First Amendment Foundation Sunshine Report … NEFAC releases open government publication for June … Ohio groups push positive public records reforms … Citizen Advocacy Center (Illinois) names community lawyer Maryam Judar new executive director … Secrecy sparks dispute … Mark Pitsch: Office flap just latest attack on free flow of information … Chris Conybeare: Independent media council, self-regulation should be supported … Peter Scheer: The connection between drone strikes and massive government surveillance programs … State FOIA Friday … See the entire issue here.


Volume 1, Issue 10

Our tenth issue of FOI InSight includes: 2013 FOI Summit Wrap-up … This just in: NFOIC in NOLA, from Mike Sherry … The Deliberative Process 150 Years Post-Lincoln … Not a Picayune Problem … Keynote Presentation … #OpenGov Hall of Fame Induction … Digital Dodges and the Email Sleight of Hand … Technology and Access: Promise, Possibility and Perils … Nominate a New Mexico open government hero! … Sunshine Report from the Virginia Coalition for Open Government … Nominations open for Madison/Andersen Award … Peter Scheer: Real outrage is that surveillance of AP reporters’ phone calls was probably legal … NEFAC says Holder should push for shield law, train Justice personnel on subpoenas …  See the entire issue here.


Volume 1, Issue 9

Our ninth issue of FOI InSight includes: This just in: Supreme Court rules states can restrict access to public records … 2013 FOI Summit: Coming soon! … NFOIC supports lawsuit accusing government agency of repeatedly violating Washington state’s open government laws … Freedom Foundation: Executive privilege documents released … Frye leaves San Diego Open Government director position … CAC testimony in opposition to Illinois new bill for blocking sunshine … NEFAC disappointed top military court won’t open Bradley Manning trial to the public … 2012 IRE Award winners: Honoring the best in investigative journalism … Robert M. Nutting elected chairman of the Newspaper Association of America … Blogger need not reveal sources, judge says in extending Shield Law … Virginia’s new nuclear agency gets cloak of secrecy … San Jose to appeal ruling that private texts, emails can be public … Ga. Juvenile official irked secrecy effort revealed … Appeals court: SPD must pay $150,000 in public records case … State FOIA Friday … FOIA Events Calendar …  See the entire issue here.


Volume 1, Issue 8

Our eighth issue of FOI InSight includes: S2013 FOI Summit: Register now! … Job opening: Executive Director sought for Colorado Freedom of Information Council … Sunshine award bestowed on open government advocate Terry Francke … Improving Transparency in Michigan … For Sunshine Week, California watchdogs get a free open government guide … Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council bestows annual open government awards … Shining a light on FOIA practices … Judge plugs “private email” loophole in CA public records law … NEFAC’s Suffolk chapter looks at effects of ‘Citizens United’ on 2012 elections … A good bill on open meetings; a bad bill on gun record … State FOIA Friday … FOIA Events Calendar …  See the entire issue here.


Volume 1, Issue 7

Our seventh issue of FOI InSight includes: Sunshine Week 2013 … Knight News Challenge … State Open Government Hall of Fame … 2013 FOI Summit … Supreme Court hears case on public records access and out-of-state-bias … WCOG to hold Open Government Conference … MNCOGI to host Freedom of Information Event March 14 … FAF to hold the 3rd Annual Sunshine Summit … Nominations for SPJ Honors … Missouri House of Representatives Resolution No. 459 of 2013 … 4 areas need improvement, First Amendment chief says … Congress asking the right questions on FOIA … SPJ letter urges Wyo. governor to support government transparency … SC House to consider proposal to make lawmakers’ records public … Utah legislators working on open records bills … State FOIA Friday … FOIA Calendar …  See the entire issue here.


Volume 1, Issue 6

Our sixth issue of FOI InSight includes: Sunshine Week 2013 … State Open Government Hall of Fame … 2013 FOI Summit … D.C. Open Government Coalition FOIA lawsuit prompts change in D.C. Council email policies … FOI Oklahoma elects new officers, solicits award nominees … NEFAC names FOI and right-to-know award winners … A survey of Virginia’s county and independent city websites … FAF announces 2013 E-manual ready for purchase … How the states rate in providing online access to government spending data … A status report on FOIAonline … 2013 International Open Data Day … NMFOG urges public officials to use official email accounts … Email to FOI advocate highlights basics of access laws … Keep light on in Missouri Sunshine Law … Wisconsin Supreme Court rules law firm legal bills are public records … Virginia FOIA exemption plan draws strong criticism … State FOIA Friday … FOIA Calendar …  See the entire issue here.


Volume 1, Issue 5

Our fifth issue of FOI InSight includes: Holiday greetings from NFOIC executive director Ken Bunting … A date for the 2013 FOI Summit! … Maine Freedom of Information Coalition president to head new TV channel covering state Legislature … Virginia Coalition for Open Government, officials talk about freedom of information … California First Amendment Coalition provides citizen with legal help to fight against the $60,000 penalty that puts access at risk …  Freedom Foundation releases best practices for Open Public Meetings Act …  NFOIC and other open government organizations sign onto letter to Senate leadership … Commentary: “E” in “email” should not stand for “evasion” … Why journalists need to get behind the #opendata movement … Government-wide Freedom of Information Act audit finds outdated regs … SPJ presents its 28th James Madison Awards … President signs whistle-blower bill for U.S. workers … State FOIA Friday … FOIA Calendar …  See the entire issue here.


Volume 1, Issue 4

Our fourth issue of FOI InSight includes: Connecticut schools respond to FOIA requests for superintendent contracts … Managing FOIA: early observations on FOIAOnline … Transparency in the Obama Administration … Google transparency report reveals government surveillance on the rise … FBI ordered to pay nearly $500,000 in fees following FOIA lawsuit … Washington Coalition for Open Government … Florida First Amendment Foundation Sunshine Report – Fall 2012 … Ohio Coalition for Open Government newsletter released … Following the campaign money … Remarks on civility and the First Amendment … Public’s business shouldn’t be ‘private’ … TRAC challenges ICE claim that data off- limits to public … ICE releases docs, then demands their return a year later … Del. water authority in public records dispute promises “information release” soon … Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam leaves open records rules unchanged … San Diego mayor grants millions in contracts without promised oversight … UNC releases more documents from NCAA probe … GRAMA and public records illuminated I-15 project controversy … 2012 Max Dalton Open Government Award winner announced … State FOIA Friday … FOIA Calendar … See the entire issue here.


Volume 1, Issue 3

Our third issue of FOI InSight includes: U.S. Supreme Court to hear Va. FOIA case re: out-of-state-requests … The Freedom Foundation challenging Gov. Gregoire’s executive privilege … Delaware Chancery Court appeals ban on private arbitration … California First Amendment Coalition denied intervention in Apple v Samsung lawsuit … The D.C. Open Government Coalition sues D.C. Council over use of personal email accounts … The Alaska Supreme Court says business emails on private accounts are public records … Transparency committee asks for recommended changes in Maryland Open Meetings Act … Personal calendar of San Diego mayoral candidate reveals meetings with newspaper owner … The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government holds its annual Dixon Luncheon … NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday … Sad news: John Finnegan, a First Amendment and open government hero, dies … How to sabotage California’s Public Records Act … Proactive Disclosure of Government Information … FOIAonline goes live … Six ventures bring data to the public as winners of Knight News Challenge … The Law of Access to Government … Public Affair Research Council of Louisiana releases new publications … ASNE welcomes two new staffers … See the entire issue here.


Volume 1, Issue 2

Our second issue of FOI InSight includes: Secrecy Report 2012: Sunlight Overshadowed… Federal judge ruled against Delaware’s “secret” arbitrations … 10 questions for 2012 candidates … NFOIC joins nonprofits in amicus brief involving Virginia FOIA case … Affidavit in rape, cocaine case unsealed in Massachusetts … Iowa’s “The People Have the Power” workshop begins … 2012 FAF Sunshine Litigation Seminar registration open… New Maine public access ombudsman expected to facilitate public records requests … Annual meeting of Iowa FOI Council 2012 … D.C. adopts federal guidelines for attorney fees in FOIA cases … North Carolina Supreme Court will consider case involving private campus police records …  See the entire issue here.


Volume 1, Issue 1

For our inaugural FOI InSight, we have: New Mexico Foundation for Open Government announcing this year’s William F. Dixon First Amendment Freedom Award winners … Rhode Island improving their Access to Public Records Act … A settlement in public records case involving the Knight FOI Fund … Reactions to California’s suspension of the Brown Act and the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision that government entities can’t charge the public for redactions … An introduction to NFOIC member and supporter badges … A new NFOIC feature highlighting some of the great work our state coalitions and member organizations have been doing … See the entire issue here.