FOI Blog

Check. This. Out.

In the sounds-to-good-to-be-true category, check out this story from Utah. State lawmkers in the Beehive State are about to let the public read their email.
The Utah Legislature joins a small but growing list of governments expanding access to email and other forms of electronic communication.
 

How not to be transparent

If you want to be transparent, then don't hide your plans.

Agency-specific schedules

This week I got yet another reason to love the Library of Virginia and, most especially, their dedicated records analysts. A very small cadre of helpful friendly folks handle records-management questions from every locality and state agency in the Commonwealth. How they accomplish as much as they do and still retain their sunny demeanor is well beyond me.

Anyway, this week they released a new service on their website. In the Library's words,

It can be done

Candidate interviews in public? Yes, it can be done!

With the unexpected death of their chairman in September, the Pittsylvania Board of Supervisors was faced with the task of appointing a successor to fill out the remainder of the chair's term.

Has the dog caught the bus?

Great article this month in the magazine Governing. It talks about public participation in government decision-making and the promises and drawbacks of technology.

No longer limited to the "one meeting at one time and if you miss it, too bad," today's technology creates exciting new opportunities for the public to voice its opinion on issues. The challenge to government is figuring out a way to harness all the input. As an official in Austin, Tex., put it:

 

We're not paranoid!

I sometimes get the feeling in committee meetings or training sessions that people think I'm being a conspiracy-theorist type when I talk about public bodies using the two-by-two rule to discuss public business out of the public eye.

The general rule is that when 3 or more members of a public body get together to talk about public business it must be done at a meeting that is open to the public and notice of the meeting has been given.

FOIA responses - better use of time?

An item out of Sauk Village, Ill., caught my eye this morning. In it, the village clerk complains to NWI.com that the village has been inundated with FOIA requests -- more than 100 this year and 18 on Aug. 27 -- and there’s no “rhyme or reason” to this.

An unnecessary study

Proposal to change meeting rules is a solution in search of a problem.

Black and White and Red All Over

The Public’s Temporary Camouflage for “Hunting” Gov’t Accountability

Response to Hanover & a thanks

Last week, the Hanover County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution that would recommend amending the Freedom of Information Act's meeting provisions. The law currently prohibits more than two members of a board from meeting to talk about public business unless FOIA's public notice requirements have been followed.

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