Transparency News, 6/21/2022



June 21, 2022

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state & local news stories


In 1991, three teenagers stumbled upon a headless, handless body which had lied for months near a busy Virginia Beach intersection. Without fingerprints or teeth, police were unable to identify person, presumed to be a young white male. The body of John Doe has remained unidentified — and his killing unsolved — for decades. Now, a new database developed by Virginia state police aims to bring renewed attention to Doe and other victims. The online database brings to fruition a bill passed in 2020 and introduced by state delegate Danica Roem, D-Prince William. Roem — who has championed other legislation geared toward increased public access to information — called the database “a radical act of transparency.” 
The Virginian-Pilot

The city's annual financial audit for the fiscal year 2021 is now over six months late, making Petersburg one of the last localities in Virginia to submit its report to a state oversight committee. An Annual Comprehensive Financial Report, or ACFR, can sometimes be overlooked by the public eye, but it serves as critical documentation in understanding a locality's financial picture. Where a government's yearly budget documents show predicted future spending and revenues, an ACFR shows the actual financial activity that happened during a fiscal year. Its tabulations are an important piece in monetary transparency for the public and credit agencies.
The Progress-Index

stories of national interest

New documents exclusively obtained by Fox News Digital reveal that the U.S. Army is teaching West Point cadets critical race theory (CRT), including addressing "whiteness." Fox News Digital exclusively obtained the documents from government watchdog group Judicial Watch, which had to sue the military twice under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to get the information.
Fox News

Two Florida deputies have each been suspended for about two weeks for leaking news about actor and comedian Bob Saget’s death before his family was alerted, officials said. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Monday that the two deputies were each suspended for 81 hours without pay. One of the deputies told his brother about Saget’s death shortly after responding to the scene, and then the brother posted the information on social media, according to an investigation report. The other deputy, who was off-duty and not involved in the death investigation, told his neighbor about Saget’s passing, officials said.
The Virginian-Pilot


editorials & columns


In American Center for Law and Justice v. Department of Homeland Security, a seemingly run-of-the-mill Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) case, D.C. District Judge Trevor McFadden offered a provocative assessment of FOIA.  “Mismatched incentives,” he observed, encourage nonprofit FOIA requesters to make excessively broad requests and bring excessive litigation.  And given the advent of email, he continued, the short time period agencies have to provide records is hopelessly out of date.  Judge McFadden’s critique may be echoed by other judges, the Department of Justice, or members of Congress.
Yale Journal on Regulation