Recent news

University is not above the law, should honor transparency, Oklahoma coalition leader says

The executive director of Freedom of Information Oklahoma is calling on the University of Oklahoma to be more transparent after the school refused to release reports regarding donor data and allegations of sexual misconduct by a former university president. “The University of Oklahoma has neither the responsibility nor the right to determine what is in…

More

Dozens of groups, including NFOIC, urge Congress to reject Pentagon’s request for secrecy

The National Freedom of Information Coalition and 44 other organizations signed a letter opposing the Department of Defense’s proposal to alter the Freedom of Information Act. The letter, written by the Project On Government Oversight, was addressed to leadership of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the House Armed Services Committee. “The Pentagon’s proposed language…

More

If records cannot always be free, at least make fees follow these 3 rules, Virginia coalition leader says

A subcommittee of Virginia’s FOIA Council is studying fees charged for public records. “In a perfect world, there would be no charges for FOIA requests in Virginia,” writes Megan Rhyne, executive director of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government. “There’s a philosophical issue that underpins some states’ open records law that says, ‘taxpayers have already…

More

FOIA enforcement shouldn’t hinge on whims of judges, Arkansas attorneys say

Attorneys Robert Steinbuch and Joey McCutchen, in a June 17, 2021, opinion piece for the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, contrasted two Freedom of Information Act cases before two judges, resulting in far different outcomes. “When litigating FOIA cases, the outcome significantly depends on the judges’ commitment to transparency over politics,” they write….

More

After pushback from coalition, Delaware lawmaker rethinks FOIA ‘abuse’ bill

A Delaware lawmaker who backed a bill to give government officials more power to deny Freedom of Information Act requests is reconsidering the bill after open government advocates raised objections. The Delaware Coalition for Open Government opposed the bill, saying the new exemptions would make the state “one of the most restrictive states (if not…

More

Kentucky coalition to host free webinar, outlining changes to state’s Open Records Act

The Kentucky Open Government Coalition will offer a free webinar — “Open Records 2021: What Do I Need to Know?” — at 10 a.m. (Eastern time) on Monday, June 21, 2021. Coalition co-director Jeremy Rogers, an open records practitioner with two decades of experience and a partner at Dinsmore and Shohl LLP, Louisville, will be…

More

In announcing upgrades to Open Meetings Law, New York State Senate cites coalition’s study

In a press release announcing amendments to the state’s Open Meetings Law, the New York State Senate mentions the work of the New York Coalition for Open Government, which has reported widespread failure of local governments to post meeting documents online. “A recent study by the New York Coalition for Open Government (“Local Governments Struggle with…

More

Colorado lawmakers wrap 2021 session with mixed marks on transparency scorecard

It was a session of highs and lows, as far as Colorado bills concerning government transparency. Among the positive developments in 2021: Legislators passed two police accountability bills that require more transparency from law enforcement agencies. On the downside: Lawmakers approved a bill allowing public bodies to disclose one finalist when choosing a city manager,…

More

Proposed fees and exemptions threaten public’s right to know, Delaware coalition argues

The Delaware Coalition for Open Government is urging members of the Delaware State Senate to vote no on Senate Bill 155. The bill would amend the Freedom of Information Act to allow for new legal fees, new scanning fees, new broad FOIA exemptions, new prohibitions on monetary compensation and a new shorter timeframe for the public to…

More

No, those Fauci emails weren’t leaked; Yes, they were obtained using FOIA

After several media outlets published thousands of Dr. Anthony Fauci’s emails, some public figures claimed the emails had been “leaked.” The Washington Post and BuzzFeed News say they used the Freedom of Information Act to request and obtain the emails of the White House’s chief medical adviser. Niquelle M. Allen, the director of the District…

More