Access 2015: Schedule & Panelists

The conference on Nov. 12 was a big success. Check out the program and our sponsors from the links below.

Thank you to our sponsors

Access 2015 --
get the program here

November 12, 2015
Gari Melchers Home and Studio Pavilion of the University of Mary Washington
224 Washington St., Falmouth 22405 (Falmouth is adjacent to Fredericksburg)


10:00 - 10:15
Conference Registration

10:15 - 11:15
Data collection, body cams and privacy:
From LPRs to drones to facial recognition to Stingrays, there are more and more ways for government to collect data on its citizens. And body cams caputre data about police. Who has access to what?

Kevin Goldberg, D.C. Open Government Coalition
John Jones, Virginia Sheriff's Association
Alice Neff Lucan, Attorney

11:15 - 11:45
Guest Speaker: Professor Stephen Farnsworth, University of Mary Washington
The 2015 Virginia elections and what they mean for open government in the Commonwealth

11:45 - 1:00
Lunchtime Program
Presentation of VCOG’s open government awards
VCOG’s annual meeting, including election of officers and appointment of new board members (All VCOG members are eligible to vote.)
Keynote Speaker: Cori Zarek, senior advisor for open government at the White House and member of the DC Open Government Coalition

1:00 - 2:00
Databases: Not just a Virginia Supreme Court problem
This panel will examine the problem many FOIA requesters face when asking for databases. From the headline grabbing lawsuit against the Virginia Supreme Court’s Office of Executive Secretary, where that office has insisted it is not a custodian of a case information database, to anecdotes about barriers to access like format, fees and data queries. What potential do databases hold for business, media and citizens.

Matt Chittum, Roanoke Times
Jack Kennedy, Wise County/City of Norton Clerk of Court
Rob Poggenklass, ACLU of Virginia
Ben Schoenfeld, Code for New River Valley

2:00 - 3:00
“Private” emails and texts: Not just a Hillary Clinton problem
It took Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server at her home to drive home the point to many citizens that government officials frequent eschew a government email address or device in favor of their own Gmail account or personal smart phone. The law in Virginia says those records are still public records if they have to do with public business, but the reality is many of those messages are not properly managed and possibly not even searched in response to a FOIA request. What are the best practices for meeting one’s obligations for records retention and FOIA and communicating in the modern world.

Alan Gernhardt, Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council
Eric Gregory, King George County Attorney
Jon Russell, Culpeper Town Council
Glenn Smith, Library of Virginia

3:00 - 4:00
Getting schooled on access: getting information from public universities isn't as easy as A-B-C
Adam Goldstein, Student Press Law Center
Dick Hammerstrom, Virginia Coalition for Open Government

Delegate David Ramadan, Fairfax
Rees Shapiro, The Washington Post