"A popular Government without popular information or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy or perhaps both." - James Madison
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50 agencies, one FOIA portal

Website makes agency records available, accepts FOIA requests, lets users track their requests.

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Coalition presses for Open Government Office independence

Office starved of staff, funding cannot perform mandated duties.

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FOIA covers Council private emails about public business

Council settles Coalition lawsuit for access to emails about public business sent from members' private accounts.

Posted on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 9:29am

The D.C. Open Government Coalition Nov. 19, presented an Open Government Action Plan to Mayor-elect Muriel Bowser, with the hope that her administration would move quickly to implement the five-part transparency initiative.

The Coalition, dedicated to enhancing public access to District government information and proceedings, has been working on the plan since June with public interest groups and transparency advocates inside and outside the District government. The Open Government Action Plan delivered to Bowser, key members of her transition team, current and incoming D.C. Council members, and Attorney General-elect Karl Racine, recommends near-term and long-term actions the new mayor can take to empower the Office of Open Government, strengthen the District’s Freedom of Information and Open Meetings statutes, and greatly increase real-time public access to government data. The goal of these proposals is to promote civic engagement and more responsive, accountable government.

Posted on Friday, October 17, 2014 - 12:41pm

  A review of the meetings of 23 public bodies covered by the D.C. Open Meetings Act between Sept. 1, 2013 and July 31, 2014, shows

  • three public bodies posted nothing at all about their meetings

  • for the rest (459 meetings reviewed) even basic notices and agendas are not consistently posted,

  • meetings are closed without consistent advance word on what and why (only about two-thirds of the time), and half the time without a required recorded roll-call vote at the meeting before closing.

  • only 7 of 24 bodies put full meeting records on-line (for four more the public must go to an office to get full records), though meeting minutes in the rest are improving.

  Enforcement of the law is the responsibility of the DC Open Government Office.

  In transmitting the new report findings to Traci Hughes, Director of the Office, Coalition board member Fritz Mulhauser, co-chair of the Legal Committee, said "in view of the many problems we found it's time to begin more aggressive counseling or other enforcement with consistently low performers."