Transparency News

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8, November 2019

Washington State
Washington State Supreme Court rules that access to public records is not a vested right
Intense reactions to release of graphic video of a violent Spokane police arrest

Outside Washington State

In the Courts
NYPD sued over access to Trump family gun records – NY
Fight over lethal injection records goes to Supreme Court – NE

Laws, Legislation, and Policy
NYPD’s new body camera policy does opposite of what it’s supposed to, advocates say – NY
Legislators propose ombudsman definitions, public records amendments – WY
Editorial: State’s most powerful Democrats want to conduct public business in private – CT
Opinion: New law requires police transparency. Now DAs must do their part – CA

Transparency and Open Government
Legislators won’t say who applied to lead transparency office – OK
Author of transparency law tells DAs to obtain their own misconduct records on cops who testify – CA
CU regents referred to multiple finalists in presidential search in emails – CO 
Dept of Interior Is Losing the Battle to Crack Down on FOIA – USA
DOJ issues new guidance for confidential information under Supreme Court FOIA decision – USA

Fees, Costs, Burdensome Requests
Douglas County district attorney refuses to waive $2,000 fee for travel receipt records – OR
Nickled and Dimed: Fees can put federal court records beyond the public’s reach – USA

Privacy, Security, and Technology
US Agencies sued over secretive use of ‘Dystopian Surveillance Technology’ – USA
Air Force finally retires 8-inch floppies from missile launch control system – USA

1, November 2019

Washington State
Washington Supreme Court says state employee birth dates are public record
Lewis County Public Records Department Fulfilled 814 Requests So Far in 2019
Opinion: Birth-dates ruling is a public-records victory
Washington state isn’t transparent about student arrests. Federal law says it’s supposed to be

Outside Washington State

Laws, Legislation, and Policy
This bill would stop lawsuits targeting taxpayers seeking public records – FL

Transparency and Open Government
Hundreds learn about Idaho’s open meetings, public records laws – ID
Emails from 600 Colorado state employees are slated to vanish from public record – CO
Senate Democrats submit FOIA request for Ukraine, Biden info – USA
EPA Contradicts Its Own Statements on FOIA Rule – USA

 

 

 

25 October 2019

Washington State
Transparency topic ignites SnoValley Chamber forum
Wapato mayor denies she refused to sign document related to investigation

Outside Washington State

Laws, Legislation, and Policy
Governor vetoes measure requiring local governments to preserve emails for 2 years – CA
Wisconsin Legislature says you can’t see secret records about lawmaker behavior – WI
Department of Justice issues new guidance on FOIA exemption (commercial info) – USA

Transparency and Open Government
County Auditor arrested, accused of breaking open records law – SD
Unshredded records dumped in a town centre to weigh down scaffolding at art festival – Int’l (UK)
Electric company PG&E to pay $65M over claims it falsified records – CA
Wyoming’s first public records ombudsman aims to boost transparency – WY
CIS finds new success with its own end-to-end FOIA tracking system – USA
Now bound to paper, lawmaker financial disclosures could go digital for 2020 – NH

Privacy, Security, and Technology
Can a school board member use student records to send campaign messages? – KY
New County Sheriff slashes transparency with encrypted radio transmissions – MN
Infographic: What Your Devices Know About You
Maybe shadow IT isn’t so bad after all, study suggests

Archives, Records Management, Information Governance
Archivists and Records Managers: Quotable quotes

 

11 October 2019 and
18 October 2019

Washington State
October is Archives Month in Washington (State Archives Newsletter)
Snohomish County prevails in state Supreme Court public records case
Sunshine Committee Meeting Topics: Legislative Session, Juvenile Records Exemptions – Oct. 22, 2019
MRSC: Updated Public Records Act FAQ page

Outside Washington State

In the Courts
Court strikes down NY law to disclose donors to nonprofits – NY
Congress can seek Trump’s financial records, appeals court rules – USA
County Sheriff must pay over $100K in legal fees in fight to withhold deputy discipline records – CA
Pennsylvania Supreme Court: Judges must make candidate information public – PA

Laws, Legislation, and Policy
Atlanta unveils new policy to improve compliance with open records law – GA
Report: Colorado public record laws ‘do not provide meaningful guidance’ for email retention – CO
Marsy’s Law vs. Florida’s Public Records Law: Are They Compatible? – FL
Bill calls for public disclosure of spending at businesses owned by a president – USA
Task force will recommend data privacy updates – WI
Conflicting standards for disclosure of DV records under OPRA – NJ
Environment department illegally withholds thousands of FOI pages – Int’l (Australia)

Transparency and Open Government
Harris County Commissioners Court: The Pros and cons of total transparency – TX
Does a photograph count as a ‘copy’? Inside Vermont’s debate over public records – VT
How price transparency would revolutionize healthcare – USA
D.C. debates whether charter schools’ records should be public – DC
Canada’s decision to make public more clinical trial data puts pressure on FDA
Maryland agencies lack consistent policies, struggle to comply with public records requests – MD

Privacy, Security, and Technology
Price Tag for CA Consumer Privacy Act Compliance: $55B – CA
Scooter companies want their San Antonio proposals kept secret – TX
Is personnel too personal? State law shields personnel matters, saying they’re private – NH
Covering immigration in a private contractor’s world – USA
New tool to help federal agencies complete annual FOIA reports – USA
Data-privacy compliance timeline is ‘yesterday,’ leading tech lawyer says

Fees, Costs, Burdensome Requests
Outgoing Public Records Advocate: Oregon’s fees on public records requests too high – OR
Town test new law curbing “Vexatious” Freedom of Information Requests – CT
Judges Turn Up Heat on Feds Over Stalled Records Requests – USA

 

4 October 2019

Outside Washington State

In the Courts
City reacts to ruling permitting FOIA on conversations between public officials and private citizens – MI
Journalists File Lawsuit To Force Feds To Release Medicare Advantage Audits – USA
Patriots owner sues State Attorney for records in prostitution case – FL
Boulder newspaper sues CU regents over presidential search transparency – CO

Transparency and Open Government
House Judiciary Committee hears testimony on public access to federal courts – USA
Oregon Legislature expands public records exemptions as committee tries to limit them – OR
Push to make public records advocate independent – OR
State council endorses reforms for public records advocate position – OR
San Diego decides city staff directory won’t be released as a public record – CA
Vermont’s Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Control Access to Their ‘Public’ Records – VT
Anaheim Won’t Release Stadium Appraisal Until ‘Right Time’ – CA
Governor names state’s first public records ombudsman – WY

Fees, Costs, Burdensome Requests
State-level groups urge city to reconsider public record fees – KS

Archives, Records Management
October is American Archives Month
Electronic Records Day is October 10, 2019
Research: What Colorado needs to do to preserve the modern public record – CO
Society of American Archives: Archives-RM Testimonials

 

27 September 2019

Washington State
Local Records Committee to review County Clerks & Superior Court Records Schedules – Oct. 2, 2019
Ocean Beach School District faces public records lawsuit

Outside Washington State

In the Courts
Idaho execution records appeal may be considered next year – ID
Judge rules Improvement District must hand over documents for free – NV
Federal judge blocks California law to force disclosure of Trump’s tax returns – USA

Transparency and Open Government
Editorial: Regaining credibility will take more than words from governor – OR
State Audit: Civil Rights Commission not transparent or accountable in decisions – CO
Interior Political Appointees Are Part Of Ongoing FOIA Probe, Agency Confirms – USA
Forums tackle gov’t transparency, media challenges – Int’l (Philippines)
Declassified, but not public. Miami judge asked to release key 9/11 name – FL
Editorial: Police, prosecutors and courts keeping criminal justice data a secret – CA

Fees, Costs, Burdensome Requests
High fees for public records can keep you in the dark, advocates say – OR
Records requests expenses cost Bowling Green City Schools – OH

Privacy, Security, and Tech
eDiscovery: Court grants spoliation sanctions for failure to preserve cell phone photos
Written signatures under threat as law commission backs electronic versions – Int’l (UK)
Right to be Forgotten: One brother stabbed the other. Journalist who wrote about it paid a price – Int’l

Archives, Records Management
Historians push to create public archive of documents from massive opioid litigation

 

20 September 2019

Washington State
Poster: Celebrate Washington’s Heritage – Archives Month is October 2019
Editorial: Public deserves access to behavioral hospitals’ reports
Editorial: State Supreme Court makes right call in public-records case for union organizing emails
Editorial: Never forget, lawmakers, that you work for us
In close vote, Snoqualmie City Council suspends video of public comment portion of meetings
Training: Basics of Archives (Reboot)

Outside Washington State

Laws, Legislation, Policy
Silicon Valley lawmaker authors bill to strengthen public records act – CA

In the Courts
AG’s open-records lawsuit against County Exec appears headed toward resolution – MO
Should foundations established by public universities be allowed to keep donor records secret? – VA
Court affirms that prison settlements are public records – NM
Group says prison system’s care provider should be subject to public records act – VT
Supreme Court decides public inspections of bodycam footage should be free – VT

Transparency and Open Government
Resignation of Oregon public records advocate stirs doubts – OR
Oregon public records council pushes for independence – OR
Despite concerns about public-records disclosures, City moves ahead with new police contract – CA
FOI Commission compels city of Middletown to release some records to mayor – CT
County’s two largest law enforcement agencies respond differently to police transparency bill – CA

Fees, Costs, Burdensome Requests
Supreme Court rejects fee for public records access – VT

Privacy, Security, and Tech
Police body cameras capture so much footage it’s driving some defense attorneys to quit – VA
Should Nonprofits Be Required To Publicly Disclose Their Donors?

 

 

13 September 2019

 

Washington State
Emails of unionizing UW profs subject to public disclosure after high court ruling
Snoqualmie City Council suspends video recording of open public comment portion of meetings
Following police shooting, Spokane PD explains body camera policy
Text message raises concerns about open meetings laws in Clark County
Lincoln County in “uncharted territory” with collective bargaining ruling
Clark College Foundation sues its own college to evade public records request

Outside Washington State

Laws, Legislation, Policy
Open records bill dies after staff privately contradicts governor’s transparency pledge – OR

Transparency and Open Government
Public Records Czar abruptly resigns after 18 months, cites “Abuse of Authority” – OR
Oregon Public Records Advocate On Why She’s Resigning – OR
Governor does away with public records website Scott Walker created – WI

Privacy, Security, and Tech
Boxes upon boxes of old, un-redacted tax records found in Albuquerque dumpster – NM

Archives and Records Management
Opinion: NARA and the government’s ‘unsustainable’ avalanche of secrets
Archivists find unseen 9/11 photos in stash of CDs from house clearance sale – NY
GCN: Why blockchain works for records management

 

 

 

06 September 2019

 

Outside Washington State

 

Laws, Legislation, Policy

NY State Privacy Act Fails to Pass – NY

 

In the Courts

Idaho Press Club sues Ada County over public record access – ID

Ninth Circuit: Courts Can Force Feds to Put Records Online

Appellate court rules Georgia General Assembly not required to comply with Open Records Act

City rejects lawsuit’s claim that residents’ emails to city officials aren’t public record – MI

Missouri government sued over heavily redacting info already released to union – MO

 

Transparency and Open Government 

Cities differ on question of private council briefings targeted by transparency advocates

Governor will still withhold records from public, despite letter from attorney general – MO

How the NY Times uses FOIA to obtain information the public has a right to know

Uber argues drivers’ names are ‘closely guarded trade secret’

The police avoid requests for their records by simply not keeping any

Editorial: Comey is another government elite treating public records like private property – USA

Grizzly Secrets: Trump administration keeps public in the dark about Yellowstone grizzlies

FERC, NERC propose to publicly identify utilities violating cybersecurity standards

 

Privacy, Security, and Tech

Gov. Ned Lamont overrules health commissioner; supports new law to release immunization data – CT

City of Sao Paulo to use blockchain registry for Public Works data

Was E-mail a Mistake? Mathematics of distributed systems suggests that meetings might be better

 

Archives and Records Management

NY Public Library: Historical copyright records and transparency – NY