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Posted Monday, July 28, 2014 - 6:25pm in fmulhauser's blog

Coders outside government have already offered the public an updated version of part of the new D.C. FOIAXpress web portal, launched just days ago.

Posted Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 4:52pm in fmulhauser's blog

Washington’s “advisory neighborhood commissioners,” just under 300 elected officials who provide community input into government decisions, must allow their private

Posted Sunday, June 29, 2014 - 2:11pm in fmulhauser's blog

Visitors to the 2014 American Film Institute documentary festival this month could see two engrossing films bookending two eras in advocacy against government secrecy--1970s and this decade.  In "1971" the filmmakers portrayed anti-war activists who entered the FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania, and took records of the FBI surveillance and counterintelligence projects designed at the direction of Direcor J.

Posted Tuesday, May 20, 2014 - 11:53am in fmulhauser's blog

In a second editorial June 26 headlined, "D.C.

Posted Monday, February 10, 2014 - 5:45pm in czarek's blog

In a report issued December 31, the Office of Open Government provided recommendations of best practices on open records and open meetings for the coming year. Some of those recommendations include establishing an open data and transparency policy, adding authority for the Office to handle FOIA appeals and for enforcing Open Meetings Act compliance through the employee Code of Conduct, bringing ANCs under the Open Meetings Act and expanding FOIA services to include mediation to resolve disputes between D.C. agencies and FOIA requesters.

Posted Monday, February 10, 2014 - 5:31pm in czarek's blog

Trying to find a meeting of any D.C. public body?  The D.C. office responsible for the law on open meetings launched a new website in January that includes notices of upcoming meetings from more than 100 boards, commissions and other groups that are part of D.C. government.  Meeting notices are required by the law but have not been conveniently collected in a single place until the Office of Open Government pulled them together. Some listings also include meeting agendas.  Find the meeting list here.

Posted Friday, May 3, 2013 - 9:05am in czarek's blog

A Texas appellate court will decide whether a county commissioner's emails discussing government business on his private account should be released to the public. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed a brief April 30 supporting the lower court's position that messages concerning government business are public, no matter where they originate. The D.C. Open Government Coalition asserted the same position in a 2012 lawsuit against the Council of the District of Columbia and reached an agreement that such messages are public.

Posted Thursday, January 3, 2013 - 1:36pm in czarek's blog

Council members and their staffs must use use official e-mail accounts for public business no later than March 1, 2013 to comply with new rules approved Jan. 2, The Washington Post reported. The D.C. Open Government Coalition sued the Council of the District of Columbia on Oct. 16 for access to emails exchanged by members' personal accounts where they conducted public business. The lawsuit is pending in D.C. Superior Court.

Posted Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 9:27am in czarek's blog

Data on D.C. restaurant health inspections and violations is searchable by name and location in a new mapping tool built by local interactive mapper Graham MacDonald, DCist reports. The map pulls public data released by the D.C. Department of Health each week to track violations. As DCist points out, this information is also made very accessible by the Health Department and cleanEats maps it as well.

Posted Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 9:17am in czarek's blog

A single speed camera has generated more than $11.6 million in revenue for the District of Columbia in the last two years, a Washington Post FOIA request found. The camera on New York Avenue in Northeast Washington resulted in 116,734 tickets during that period, the records show. The Post put together a graphic showing locations of the cameras that generate the most citations. D.C.

Posted Thursday, October 18, 2012 - 1:08pm in czarek's blog

The D.C. government "has got to get a more clear policy" on government email sent from personal accounts, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (Council Chair Phil MendelsonD) told The Washington Post in response to the D.C. Open Government Coalition's Oct. 16 lawsuit against the Council of the District of Columbia.

Posted Friday, August 24, 2012 - 5:38pm in czarek's blog

Courts awarding attorney’s fees to prevailing plaintiffs in D.C. Freedom of Information Act cases should follow the same model as the federal courts, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals held Aug. 23.

Posted Friday, August 10, 2012 - 11:27am in czarek's blog

Results of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's quarter-million dollar "mystery rider" program will not be released to the public, the Washington Examiner reported August 10. Costing $252,000 in rider fares and taxpayer dollars, the program involves undercover riders who report back on the transit system. The multi-jurisdiction agency says release would share internal observations to be used in improving the system and may also contain proprietary and confidential commercial information. The Examiner reports that WMATA released a similar report in the past.

Posted Friday, July 27, 2012 - 9:35am in czarek's blog

Security for Mayor Vincent Gray cost nearly $1 million in his first year in office, the Washington Examiner reports, but he spent less than his predecessors on travel and home-security upgrades. Metropolitan Police Department records released under the D.C. Freedom of Information Act show that taxpayers spent 37% less to secure Gray's home than for Mayor Adrian Fenty. And while Fenty took security detail along on his travels -- costing nearly $12,000 in 2010 alone -- Gray traveled without MPD officers in 2011.

Posted Wednesday, July 11, 2012 - 9:45am in czarek's blog

Mayor Vincent Gray signed an order July 10, 2012 limiting D.C. employees' use of personal email to transact public business. DCist pointed to several examples of administrators using personal email in their public capacities. The order will require employees who do use private email to provide copies to their official D.C. email accounts. This policy does not apply to the D.C. Council or its staff.

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