Megan Rhyne's blog

The judiciary's really not that different

GUEST COLUMN:
Practicing lawyers have reason to want to keep judges happy and to fear judges' displeasure. Accordingly, VCOG agreed to post this contribution from one of its lawyer members anonymously.

 

An awkward position

Tuesday, the FOIA and procurement subcommittee of the House General Laws Committee considered 21 bills, including 12 that are on VCOG’s watch list.

 

UPDATED: Letter to governor re: Charlottesville rally information

VCOG urges the governor’s office to be more forthcoming with information related to the Aug. 11-12 Unite the Right rallies in Charlottesville.

Strong words on FOIA violation

We’re all winners and losers with Abingdon’s recent FOIA ruling

Bristol Herald Courier editorial, August 20, 2017

Court rulings ignore common practice

Once again, a court has looked at an isolated provision of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and decided that it means something completely different from what had been commonly accepted in the past.

 

Put government spending information online

Being able to find information online is becoming the default expectation. Government spending should be no different.

Truth in the Field debut

Shelley Kimball

Welcome to VCOG new blog, Truth in the Field, a series of columns that explain how journalists, citizens, academics, and activists have accessed and used government information.

What a difference a year makes

What a difference a year makes.
 
Last year, a Senate subcommittee on FOIA advanced one bill after another that restricted the public’s access to government information. It recommended a bill to exempt police names, one to limit which state salaries could be released and in what format, and one that created a month-long procedural requirement where the government would ask private businesses if it was OK to release records.
 
This year?
 

2016 open government award winners

The Virginia Coalition for Open Government is pleased to announce the winners of its 2016 open government awards. The awards are given to individuals or organizations who have made use of public information laws to keep government accountable and to inform their fellow citizens.

A FOIA story

I don’t usually repost full copies of news stories, but this one is especially noteworthy as a snapshot of how FOIA transactions can unspool. This is a reporter trying to get a state agency report, but the same back and forth, same push and pull, can be experienced by requesters at all levels of government and all corners of the state. Even when the law or an exemption is used correctly, it is still often difficult to follow the process and understand why confidentiality is needed when it isn’t mandated.
 
 

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