DC FOIA helped City Paper's "Loose Lips" columnist, WIll Sommer, writ
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.
Washington’s “advisory neighborhood commissioners,” just under 300 elected officials who provide community input into government decisions, must allow their private
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.
In a second editorial June 26 headlined, "D.C.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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