Current Headlines

Voter applications are public

A federal judge has ruled that Virginia must make its voter registration applications available for public inspection. The opinion, issued Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith, stems from a lawsuit filed by the national voting rights group, Project Vote, which sought access to voter applications of Norfolk State University students in the 2008 presidential election. Read more in the Virginian-Pilot.

Principles for improving federal transparency

Federal CIO Vivek Kundra identified 10 principles for improving federal transparency in his testimony before a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee. The bullet-list is below. Click here for a fuller explanation of each.

Redaction before and after

The image at left was the redacted document a police department turned over in response to an open records request in Rhode Island. When asked to reconsider, the police department sent the document on the right. What a reconsideration! Read the story here.



Public business or not?

FOIA Council says meeting of 4 board members with attorney should have followed FOIA. The members' attorney says the meeting wasn't public business. YOU DECIDE: they were meeting to discuss suing other school board members over a proposed redistricting plan.

Google & FOIA

How cool is this? Joey Senat, Ph.D., associate professor, Oklahoma State School of Media & Strategic Communications, has used a Google map of Oklahoma to pinpoint FOIA requests/problems throughout the state. I'd love to see some college students in Virginia do one of those for us!

4 officials and an attorney

Four members of Wise school board meet with an attorney to talk about suing the other half of the board. Attorney says it's OK; citizen says the meeting should have followed FOIA. (From the Coalfield Progress)

Smithfield code of conduct

Smithfield Times editorial, April 13, 2011

Voters do the evaluating

A facilitator, hired by the Board of Supervisors to work with them on their manners during an annual retreat, has proposed a "Code of Conduct" to be signed by each of the five.

The document, written by facilitator Dr. Michael Chandler, contains some good sugges-tions that the supervisors be tolerant, that they avoid abusive language and that their general be- havior in meetings not be threatening or disre- spectful.

VCOG hosts FOIA, records-management seminars

Back by popular demand! VCOG is hosting two seminars, Wednesday, April 27, in Roanoke. The first is a 2.5-hour workshop on how to gain access to records using FOIA. Learn tips/strategies from citizens, journalists and government employees. The second is a 2.5-hour seminar for government employees about how good records management can make filling FOIA requests easier. Go to our online registration/payment page to sign up. If you'd prefer to register with a check, there are links on the registration page to the hard-copy registration forms.


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