Recent news

Boosted by Knight FOI Litigation Fund, Florida resident compels county group to meet in public

An Osceola County, Florida, judge ruled Nov. 22, 2021, that the county violated the state’s Sunshine Law by holding Executive Policy Group meetings without public notice or opportunity for the public to attend. County resident Josh Meyers for 613 days challenged the county’s assertion that the Sunshine Law did not apply to the Executive Policy…

More

New York coalitions see signs of progress in new transparency laws signed by governor

Government transparency took a few legislative steps forward this fall in New York, where the National of Freedom of Information Coalition has two member organizations. Starting Nov. 18, 2021, public bodies must post their meeting documents online, to the “extent practicable,” at least 24 hours before a meeting. The New York Coalition for Open Government,…

More

Colorado coalition publishes online and searchable guide to state’s sunshine laws

The Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition has published its new guide to the state’s sunshine laws. For the first time, the guide is online, searchable and indexed by topic.  “The guide is comprehensive, addressing the questions most frequently asked of CFOIC about the Colorado Open Records Act, the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act, the Colorado…

More

California’s First Amendment Coalition hiring senior staff attorney, legal fellow

The First Amendment Coalition, a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization headquartered in Northern California, is hiring for two legal positions to focus on government transparency and press freedom litigation and counseling. FAC is looking for an experienced lawyer to serve as senior staff attorney, directing FAC’s strategic litigation program. FAC also is recruiting its next legal…

More

NFOIC, Knight FOI Fund support efforts to release COVID data, county credit card details

The National Freedom of Information Coalition in October 2021 awarded two grants from the Knight FOI Fund in support of litigation to release public records.  In Florida The Florida Center for Government Accountability, the NFOIC’s newest member, was awarded a $5,000 grant to support its lawsuit against the Florida Department of Health, which has stopped…

More

Wanting to keep Google’s water use a secret, Oregon city sues news organization

A city in Oregon is suing a news organization, hoping to keep secret how much water Google will use to cool server farms. The city of The Dalles filed suit in state court in October 2021, seeking to overturn the ruling of a county district attorney, who said Google’s water use is a public record….

More

Executive director of New Mexico coalition to retire; search for new leader has begun

Albuquerque, N.M. — The Board of Directors of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government on Oct. 28, 2021, announced the retirement of Executive Director Melanie Majors effective Dec. 31, 2021. Majors took the role of director in 2018, after serving as a member of NMFOG’s Board of Directors. She has more than 35 years…

More

‘Create a culture that says public access is good, and we don’t want exceptions,’ retiring leader says

By Todd FettigNFOIC executive director Be proactive. Think in terms of principles. Think long-term. Build a culture of transparency. And remind lawmakers of their commitments to open government.  Those are the tenets of Robert Travis Scott, who in November 2021 retires as president of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana (PAR), a member of…

More

Journalists of Color, state coalitions benefit from NFOIC program funded by SPJ Foundation grant

The National Freedom of Information Coalition’s $5,000 grant from the SPJ Foundation helped 24 journalists of color sharpen their skills in acquiring public records and connected them to experts in more than 12 states.  The FOI Bootcamp for Journalists of Color provided a two-hour virtual training on records access, analyzing data, and serving disadvantaged communities….

More