Transparency News

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Oct 15, 2020

Public Disclosure, Washington


Public Disclosure/FOIA, National   


Public Disclosure/FOIA, States


Open Gov’t, States


Open Gov’t, International



September 18, 2020

Public Disclosure, Washington


Public Disclosure/FOIA, Federal


Public Disclosure/FOIA, States


Open Gov’t, Washington


Open Gov’t, Federal



  • Lobby groups and transparency, EU




September 10, 2020

Public Disclosure, Washington


Public Disclosure/FOIA, National   


Public Disclosure/FOIA, States


Open Gov’t, Washington


Open Gov’t, States


September 3, 2020

Public Disclosure, Washington


Public Disclosure, States


Open Gov’t, States




August 28, 2020

Public Disclosure, National


Open Gov’t, National


August 20, 2020

Public Disclosure, Washington

Public Disclosure, National

August 6, 2020

Public Disclosure, National       

Open Gov’t, National




July 31, 2020

Public Disclosure, Washington

Public Disclosure, National

Open Gov’t, National


July 23, 2020

Public Disclosure, Washington

Public Disclosure, National

Open Gov’t, National

Related Issues




July 16, 2020

Public Disclosure, National




June 26, 2020

Public Disclosure, Washington


Public Disclosure, National


Open Gov’t, National


Open Gov’t, International


Celebrity News



June 19, 2020

Public Disclosure, Washington

Public Disclosure, National

Open Gov’t, National

Open Gov’t, International

Related Issues


June 12, 2020

Public Disclosure, National

Trump administration won’t say who got $511 billion in taxpayer-backed coronavirus loans, National

Delaware legislature considers eliminating university FOIA exemption, Delaware

Waukegan Denies Violating FOIA By Withholding Arrest Information, Illinois

COVID-19 has struck 25 Idaho care centers, State officials agree to release more information, Idaho

Recent Developments Regarding Missouri’s Sunshine Law, Missouri

In a Historic Victory, NY Legislature Repeals 50-A, New York
Vermont AG sued over public records, Vermont

Policing reform, law enforcement request strategies, and more, National


Open Gov’t, Washington

Judge orders Freedom Foundation to pay $80,000 in Attorney General’s campaign finance case


May 15, 2020


Public Disclosure, Washington

Washington residents report threats after naming businesses that could be violating coronavirus rules

Stay-at-home protesters in Washington post information on those who complained to state about open businesses (Behind the Seattle Times paywall)

FBI investigating Washington state residents threatened after reporting ‘Stay Home’ order violations

Prosser businessman who was a ‘thorn’ in the side of city hall has died, Prosser


Public Disclosure, National

No, Your FOIA Request Cannot Wait ‘Until This Emergency Is Over’

Ige Backs Off His Suspension Of State Open Government Laws, Hawaii

Wednesday: Sunshine Law Loss Means $175K Bill For Mizzou, Missouri

Court of Appeals says cell phones may be used to copy public records, Arkansas

What’s the status of your state’s Sunshine Laws?


Privacy, Washington

Privacy concerns raised due to state’s new COVID-19 contact tracing strategy


Open Government, National

Committee on Open Government says Ogdensburg likely made a ‘reasonable effort’ to accommodate public as required by law, New York

Transparency News to May 8, 2020


Public Disclosure, Washington

Denney v. City of Richland, Washington Supreme Court

Government Transparency and the Global Pandemic — A Message from the Board of Directors, WashCOG


Public Disclosure, National

Idaho controls COVID-19 data, Idaho

City of Racine has paid more than $129k on open records case , Wisconsin

Transparency watchdog urges review of Whitmer’s order easing open records law, Michigan

Lamont: Having group not subject to open records laws will speed up reopening state, Connecticut

More than 900 Missouri residents who ‘snitched’ on lockdown rule-breakers fear retaliation after their details are leaked online, Missouri

Senate Office Tells Biden It Cannot Seek Tara Reade Records, U.S.


Open Government, Washington

Ephrata borough is holding meetings, but not online; open government advocates say that’s a problem, Ephrata


Open Government, National

The Critical Cases The Supreme Court Will Hear In First-Ever Remote Arguments, U.S.Transparency News to May 1, 2020.


Public Disclosure, Washington

Eastside Catholic football players, a girl and a declined prosecution

Pierce County judge joins state’s high court


Public Disclosure, National

New Public Records Act Opinion Considers Extent of Trade Secret Privilege, California


Open Government, National

Don’t let open government become another victim of the pandemic

“Now many government entities in states across the country are using the COVID-19 public health crisis as an all-purpose excuse to tighten access or even close meetings that should be open to all, and dragging their feet or simply ignoring requests for records that belong to the public.”

Our View: Open government still must be the expectation, Minnesota

Messenger: Judge blasts state of Missouri over ‘blatant’ violation of Sunshine Law, Missouri

How to help ensure government transparency and request valuable information during the COVID-19 crisis

Transparency News to April 24, 2020.


Public Disclosure, National

The FOIA Update: Most state records laws remain in place, cancelled meetings will affect accountability

Amid The Epidemic, It Can Be Hard To Know What’s Going On Behind Closed Doors


Covid and Public Meetings

Washougal closes meetings to public

Virtual city council meetings are boom or bust for local governments

Clark County public meetings adapt amid COVID-19

Public Meeting Requirements in the Age of COVID-19

For local government, pandemic opens uncharted territory under Sunshine Act

Access to public information restricted as schools move online


Covid and Gov’t Budgets

City coffers likely to see pandemic pinch

Next victim of coronavirus may be your local government budget

April 17, 2020

Washington State

Washington Enacts Emergency Limitations on Public Meetings, Public Records

Inslee signs additional measures to help mitigate COVID impacts

Government transparency is critical during coronavirus pandemic – WA

Appeals court reverses decision on SFCC sexual harassment records


Coronavirus clampdown: The virus casts a shroud over American civic life

Guest opinion: A call for transparency and open government

The COVID-19 Disaster Has Made a Mess of Texas’ Open Government Rules

The FOIA Update: Agencies are still adjusting to circumstances of COVID-19

Eye on Boise: Citizens need more openness and transparency from their government – ID

Kansas attorney general emphasizes importance of transparency, proposes rules for remote public meetings – KS

Officials: Coronavirus info not covered by state Open Records law – PA



Pandemics and Personal Data


February 28, 2020

Washington State
Just how dangerous is your birthday?
Court Upholds Public Records Case Ruling Against Millennium
Sec. of State Wyman won’t vote in primary because of not-so-private ballots
CDC Report Obtained Through FOIA Request Points to Humidifier as Likely Source of Seattle Children’s Mold Outbreaks
AG Bob Ferguson issues ultimatum over ‘illegal’ decision to move Seattle National Archives
WA Dept. of Corrections releases RFI on Electronic Health Record Systems
DHS official says Washington state could lose NEXUS privileges

Outside Washington State
Indian Health Service Declines to Release Report on Sexual Abuse – US
Chief Justice Roberts’ Surprising Views on the Public’s Right to Know – US
Florida congressmen call for more transparency on coronavirus – FL

In the Courts
Pierson Township sues Montcalm County over FOIA response – MI

Legislation and Policy
New bill aims to overhaul current Alabama Open Records Law – AL

Transparency and Open Government
Should the public pay a dime for access to court records? – US

Privacy and Security
SJ primary preview: New tech boosts transparency, security – CA
i-SIGMA provides recent listing of House and Senate Bills by State and Federal Government involving Privacy 2019 – US
Configuration mistakes blamed for bulk of stolen records last year: IBM – US

Apple AirPods Pro As ‘Spy’ Tool: Live Listen Vs Transparency Mode – CA
Facebook Pays $550 Million In Facial Recognition Settlement via Security Baron – US

Records Management, Archives
APD: Records requests will be delayed while records management system is upgraded – TX


February 21, 2020


Washington State
Snohomish County inmate sues county, gets $110K – and freedom
Washington state’s #MeToo-driven legislation has made it harder for journalists to investigate harassment
Seattle Children’s sues to block release of state health records related to mold
Judge orders Tacoma officials to get public records training
Youtube video focuses on public records in San Juan County
Spokane County joining Lincoln County in court battle over transparent collective bargaining

Outside Washington State
Our view: Is Colorado’s secretary of state dodging transparency? – CO
FOIA documents: Detroit mailed property assessment three weeks later than original claim – MI
Locals and lawmakers in favor of more transparency – OK
Niagara corrections officer pleads guilty to records tampering – NY
Attorney General: Frontenac violated open records law – KS
Senators consider undoing Clean Missouri open records provisions – MO


In the Courts
New Keystone XL Lawsuit: Montana’s Response to Anticipated Protests in Question – MT
Legislation and Policy
Sen. Johnson proposes new public records exemption bill – ID
The Oregon Senate Moves Toward Greater Government Transparency By Approving More Independent Public Records Advocate – OR
Transparency and Open Government
Customs and Border Protection Gains an Extra Layer of Secrecy – US
Privacy and Security
Ring enables mandatory two-factor authentication and new privacy controls in response to scandals
Zasio Enterprises Adds New Web Browser Interface to Leading Electronic Records Management Software – ID
Records Management, Archives
Hundreds of confidential Georgia case files discovered in Aiken County landfill – GA



February 14, 2020

Washington State
Inmate wants graphic undercover bikini barista videos, city of Everett fights back
WA State Archives shares NARA Seattle closure information
Sunshine (Public Records Exemptions Accountability) Committee Meeting – Feb. 25, 2020
Media would retain access to employee birth dates under new version of bill
Proposed Settlement Between Facebook and Washington State Is “Dangerous” and “Troubling,” Experts Say
Privacy and technology bills to watch this session

Outside Washington State
Oregon Lawmakers Consider Future Of Transparency Official’s Role – OR
Attorney general says Paducah violated Open Records Act in redacting hotel study – KY

Auditor Galloway Announces First-Of-Its-Kind Transparency Initiative To Make Sunshine Requests And Responses Accessible To The Public – MO

In the Courts
Deal in works for attorney’s fees in MU Sunshine Law case – MO
Clawson Settles Lawsuit, Makes Steps Towards More Transparency -MI
After Trump Acquittal, Public Integrity continues pressing Open Records Case – US

Legislation and Policy
Opinion: Alabama needs a new open records law, now – AL

Transparency and Open Government
U.S. Drone Policy: Transparency & Oversight – US
Transparency Is Killing Congress – US

Privacy and Security
Transparency Report Shows Rejected A Warrant Demanding Access To Its DNA Database – US

Gorbea Brings New Transparency to Government with Lobbying and Legislation Data Exploration Tool – RI

Records Management, Archives
Cape Cod Municipality Turns Paperwork into Digital Records per The Sandwich Enterprise – MA


February 7, 2020

Washington State
Public records reveal Herbold tipped off blogger, began RV storm
Editorial: Quit trying to hide Washington public employee birthdates. Privacy argument fails
Washington state Legislature sees records requests spike since court ruling
Washington State Historical Society statement about National Archives and Records Administration in Seattle closure
Washington state lawmakers debut legislation for consumer privacy and facial recognition
Tiny Washington police department working to remedy issues

Outside Washington State
Some California Government Records will stay hidden from the Public via Voice of San Diego – CA
Your Right to Know: Records fees mean records denials – WI
Illinois Attorney General: Public Body Cannot Delete Record After Receipt of FOIA Request – IL
‘Crazy’: FOIA’d emails reveal alarm and frustration among top NOAA officials over Trump’s ‘doctored’ Hurricane Dorian map – US
City Hall stonewall: Brown administration denying records on FBI raid – NY
Governor Claims ‘Executive Privilege,’ Denies Public Records – TN


In the Courts
Sunshine Law case against St. Louis County executive’s office could be headed for trial – MO
Court weighing arguments in Ohio gunman school records case – OH


Legislation and Policy
Baker seeks to close off vital records – MA
Republican transparency resolution moves forward – NM


Transparency and Open Government
BOE wants open records training – TN
Opinion: Defending our right to full and complete information – MI

Privacy and Security
White Paper – Data Protection Law: An Overview by Congressional Research Service


Galloway says Parson misled press about message-deleting app – MO


Records Management, Archives

Hamilton County attorneys destroy public records after Times Free Press request – TN


31 January 2020 

Washington State
Craig Swapp law firm agrees to pay nearly $1 million to settle class action lawsuit over crash reports
Lawmakers are going paperless in Olympia, but it’s not really about saving trees
State Senate makes tweaks to workplace conduct rules
A right to know, even when it may be unpleasant
Public Records Act Complaint Filed Against All Washington School Districts
Legislature, don’t weaken Public Records Act 

Outside Washington State
Assembly OK’s California bill to make sex assault records of police be public even if officer quits – CA
Air district whistle-blowers awarded $4 million in records-destruction case – CA
Oregon’s Newsrooms To Receive Pro Bono Assistance On Public Records – OR

In the Courts
Man pleads guilty for keeping classified records after employment – MA
Kentucky Utility Regulators Sue To Limit Public Records Access – KY

Laws, Legislation and Policy
Democratic lawmakers again consider exempting public-employee birth dates from Washington’s Public Records Act – WA

Transparency and Open Government
Grant gives press legal muscle to enforce government transparency in Oklahoma – OK
Former Oregon Public Records Advocate: Keep Pushing For Independence – OR

Privacy, Security and Technology
New York state wants to ban government agencies from paying ransomware demands – NY

Records Management, Archives
County running out of file storage space – IN


17 & 24 January 2020 (2-week edition)

Washington State
Policy fights, political tension loom for state lawmakers
Washington lawmakers vow to let Supreme Court public-records ruling stand this legislative session
Washington state Legislature sees records requests spike since court ruling
Democratic Lawmakers again consider exempting public-employee birth dates from PRA
Editorial: Public workers’ birth dates need to stay public
Editorial: Don’t gut public records laws to serve public sector unions
Editorial: More secrecy shenanigans in Olympia
Editorial: Legislature, don’t weaken Public Records Act
Federal panel recommends closure and sale of Seattle National Archives facility
WWU Students responsible for misconduct seek to protect identities
MRSC Public Records FAQs (updated)

Outside Washington State

In the Courts
Air district whistle-blowers awarded $4 million in records-destruction case – CA
Michigan Court of Appeals: Education records are subject to FOIA requests – MI
Plenty of reasons to care about Texas’ Enrique Iglesias public records case – TX
Supreme Court may review California, nonprofit privacy law – USA

Laws, Legislation, and Policy
Does Colorado need more transparency in forced arbitration? There’s a bill for that – CO
Bill shines light on state settlements – NM
2019 California Public Records Act New Legislation – CA
How Should FOIA Be Reformed to Prevent Further Abuse of Redactions? – USA
Senate panel moves bill to shield lawmakers’ addresses from public – FL
Bill would force quicker government response to records requests – MD

Transparency and Open Government
State’s new ‘open government’ expert hired in secret – NY
Does the public have a right to see how courts are run? A battle over secret records is brewing – VA
B.C. public corporate registry would be ‘game changer’ – Int’l (Canada)
Michigan Supreme Court urged to release AG’s emails on private accounts – MI
Britons’ Trust in Institutions Falls to Record Low – Int’l (UK)
Why some public universities get to keep their donors secret
Private Dane County Board ‘chairs meetings’ raise questions about government transparency – WI

Fees, Costs, Burdensome Requests
Local governments see increase Freedom of Information Act requests – VA

Privacy, Security, and Technology
After one week online, state court records pulled amid security concerns – ND
Megan faces release of more texts in case against Mail on Sunday – Int’l (UK)






3rd & 10th January 2020

Washington State
State lawmakers said they were above public records law. State Supreme Court just disagreed
Public records reveal WA DOR’s thoughts on capital gains income taxes
After Stranger lawsuit, State provides previously sealed records of surveillance methods
State legislators are subject to public-records law, Washington state Supreme Court rules
What does Washington high court records ruling mean? Lawmakers must abide by PRA
Opinion: No secrecy privileges for you, WA legislators. Citizens must hold them accountable
Washington Supreme Court rules legislators must release public records

Outside Washington State

In the Courts
Former aide becomes first official convicted of public records violations – GA
Automated speeding citations not public record, Iowa Supreme Court rules – IA
County clerk sues commissioners over alleged Open Meetings Act violations – MI
Judge: University of Wyoming must give Nichols docs to media – WY
Gov. files appeal, argues judicial applications should not be made public – PA
High court: Settlement after inmate’s death is public record – IL
Judge rules to unseal documents in newspaper shooting case – MD

Laws, Legislation, and Policy
GOP lawmakers propose transparency rules – NM
Trump objects to certain transparency requirements of 2020 spending and policy bills – USA
U.S. opens immigration tent courts to public – USA
Workplace Transparency Act imposes new obligations on local government employers – IL
IL Supreme Court rules company lawsuit settlements who contract with State subject to FOIA – IL
Is revenge porn protected speech? Supreme Court may soon weigh in – NH
Michigan FOIA proposal would eliminate fees, reduce wait times for public records – MI
New Iowa Law Aims to Improve Transparency in Property Taxes – IA

Transparency and Open Government
Watchdog agency questions lobbying loophole for former legislators – MN
Access To Information: A story of resistance from Tunisia – Int’l
Backed by new state law, Statesman seeks to expose government spending – TX
Police can keep costly communications gear secret – NH
Inside the new fight to get Trump administration Ukraine documents
Private County Board ‘chairs meetings’ raise questions about government transparency – WI
Minneapolis food inspection reports now available online for public – MN
Condos: Protecting access to public records – VT
Getting police records is still a slog, one year into new transparency law – CA
Sheriff’s Office offers County jail data, from population and demographics to charges – IL

Fees, Costs, Burdensome Requests
Cost of getting genealogical records from the government could go up nearly 500% – USA

Privacy, Security, and Technology
Student E-Mails, FERPA and FOIA: What School Districts Must Disclose (and When)?
Ruling blows ‘Gaping Hole’ in FOIA shields for diversity data – USA
A push to keep death records from the public gains support in California – CA
Trusting Your Secrets to the Government – FOIA, ‘confidential’, and SCOTUS ruling – USA

Records Management and Archives
Record Retention is a Key Component of Your Privacy and Cyber Compliance Program
County running out of file storage space – IN



20 December 2019

Washington State
State Supreme Court: WA state lawmakers subject to public records act
Supreme Court Opinion
Freedom Foundation seeks names, birthdates of hundreds of thousands of government workers
Citing safety, state public employees push to protect personal information
State Supreme Court declares San Juan County Public Records Ordinance invalid
MRSC: PRA and OPMA Case Law Update (CPRO credits) – January 23, 2020

Outside Washington State

In the Courts
Trial to start Monday in Georgia’s first-ever public records case – GA
Court: University foundation exempt from open-records laws – VA
Supreme Court to Rule on Release of Trump’s Financial Records – USA
Convention Center general manager sued for violation of public records law – LA
Judge blocks Los Angeles from enforcing NRA disclosure law – CA
California AG sued to reveal names of police officers in legal settlements – CA

Laws, Legislation, and Policy
Can Missouri charge attorneys fees for public records? Transparency hawks, state disagree – MO
Supervisors back effort to change state law keep death reports from public – CA

Transparency and Open Government
Editorial: California’s Accounting System cost $1.1 Billion and still can’t produce records – CA
Trump Administration resists Ukraine disclosures ordered by court – USA

Records Management and Archives
NARA’s leadership in the digital decade – USA
NAGARA Webinar: The journey from an idea to [a new public records] law (March 5, 2020)


13 December 2019

Washington State
Leaked records show where violent threats that partially led to cancelled wolf meetings came from
Editorial: UW and WSU’s Center for an Informed Public can help save democracy
Spin Control: For some lawmakers, ’tis the season to be filing
MRSC offers PRA and OPMA Case Law Update (WAPRO credits) – January 23, 2020

Outside Washington State

In the Courts
Trump again asks Supreme Court to bar release of his financial records – USA
Court: university foundation exempt from public-records laws – VA
Arizona judge rules retirement agency sexual harassment records should be made public – AZ
Newspaper files federal lawsuit over Connecticut juvenile law that makes court cases secret – CT
Government accuses Amazon of violating transparency rules in its JEDI lawsuit – USA
Duo of federal court rulings deal blow to dark money disclosure laws – USA
Hospitals turn to courts as lobbying fails to block price-transparency proposal – USA
Appeals court affirms that city surveillance records are public – LA

Laws, Legislation, and Policy
Township Committee Members call for study of Open Public Records Act – NJ
Adjustments to new marijuana law include banking, DUI, Expungements, Ethics, FOIA – IL
New California laws seek transparency, accountability for charter schools – CA

Transparency and Open Government
City apologizes for failing to provide data on ride-share sex assaults – IL
WV officials noncommittal on release of Nazi salute photo information – WV
Top 5 takeaways from Public Access Counselor’s 2019 Binding Opinions – IL
SMART withholds daily and weekly ridership records as train seats go unfilled – CA
FOIA reveals how US government misled public on Afghanistan war – USA
How The Post unearthed The Afghanistan Papers – USA
We asked public universities for their professors’ conflicts of interest, and got the runaround

Privacy, Security, and Technology
Police radios blocked from the public in southeast Denver metro area – CO


06 December 2019

Washington State
JLARC Preliminary Report: Review of Public Records Training, Consultation, and Grant Programs
Editorial: ‘Title-only bills’ do end-run around transparency
Court of Appeals rules Child Advocacy Center not subject to the PRA
Wapato ready to bring back former city clerk-treasurer

Outside Washington State

In the Courts
School District faces lawsuit after denying open records requests to anonymous requestor – WI
Trump loses appeals court fight over his financial records – USA
CA Supreme Court strikes down State Law requiring public disclosure of President tax returns – CA
Hospital groups sue to block price-transparency rule – USA

Laws, Legislation, and Policy
Proposed Law Would Bar Public Disclosure of Lawmakers’ Personal Information – FL
For Texas, the new year will bring stronger contract transparency – TX
Experts: Ohio law on HIV status disclosure hurts public health – OH
Bills would stop Michigan hunters from using state records to find game – MI
Partly Sunny: Public agencies exploit loophole in new Kentucky open records law – KY

Transparency and Open Government
NFOIC National Open Government Survey is open
Ohio auditor creates ratings for openness – OH
PG&E withheld information about medically at-risk customers ahead of major power shutoff – CA
Copyright questions sidetrack effort to open Utah’s secret jail standards – UT
For families of those killed by deputies, a long wait for answers – CA
California Legislature Won’t Disclose Latest Sexual Harassment Complaint Data – CA
Gender Pay Gap: Addressing It Through Transparency
Arizona government lacks transparency, report finds – AZ
As White House stonewalls on Ukraine docs, wave of FOIA suits seek to pry them loose – USA
Who made the new drapes? It’s among high court’s mysteries – USA
San Jose police say it will take nearly 5 years to provide all records required under transparency law – CA

Privacy, Security, and Technology
DNA geneological databases a gold mine for police, with few rules and little transparency
California AG seeks public comment at public hearings on California Consumer Privacy Act – CA
Opinion: Enhancing protections for sensitive information in congressional investigations – USA
School District spent $13,800 on data breach investigation, but won’t make findings public – NJ

Records Management and Archives
SAA Resource: Creating Family Archives


22, November 2019

Washington State
Editorial: End the ICE secrecy in Longview
Public records show Seattle Children’s told health officials about prior mold infections in 2018
State lawmakers often rush major legislation. Big banks are suing to stop that
Emails reveal city’s tumultuous handling of new regional 911 dispatch center
Washington cops are taking a cue from ‘Fight Club’ for a secret facial recognition group

Outside Washington State

In the Courts
City clerk ordered to pay $42K for refusing records request – MO
School district’s refusal to grant anonymous requests for records prompts transparency lawsuit – WI
Police cases to test Right-to-Know Law before NH Supreme Court – NH
India Supreme Court rules on disclosure of judges’ assets and transparency – Int’l (India)
Trump asks Supreme Court to bar release of his tax returns – USA
State to fight judge on decision requiring release of investor names – KY

Laws, Legislation, and Policy
EPA, progressives clash over transparency rule – USA
Trump Administration releases transparency rule in hospital pricing – USA
Amid federal corruption investigation, State lawmakers propose new disclosures for lobbyists – IL

Transparency and Open Government
ACLU: Whistleblowers are public servants. We must protect them – USA
AG: Pawtucket violated open records law by withholding police officers’ hometowns – RI
Federation of American Scientists: Transparency vs. Good Government
Leak investigation exposes inspector general’s selective public disclosure – NY
Capitol Watch: Commissions make law behind closed doors – NY
Councilman provided inaccurate response about Facebook account in response to records request – NJ
As Portland resets conversation on civic engagement, public asks for transparency – OR
Make it public: Advocate presses for release of NYPD body cam footage – NY

Privacy, Security, and Technology
Nunavut returns to paper records and phone calls following ransomware attack – Int’l (Canada)
State Auditor: Self-deleting apps have no place in government – MO
Failure to Encrypt Mobile Devices Leads to $3 Million HIPAA Settlement – USA


11, November 2019

Washington State

Sunshine Committee 2019 Annual Report now available
Public Records Training, Consultation, and Grants preliminary report on Dec. 4 JLARC agenda
Researcher: ICE’s block on Cowlitz records “antithetical to democracy”
National Law Review: Disclosure of State employees’ birthdates not protected per WA Supreme Court

Outside Washington State

In the Courts
Courts back open records in several Sunshine Law decisions – MO
Judge: University of Missouri violated Sunshine Law with high fee estimate – MO
Feds sued over lack of transparency about facial recognition – USA
Disability status for CalPERS retirees must remain private, court rules – CA
Salem police, union, Municipal Assoc. fight to keep unredacted audit secret – NH

Laws, Legislation, and Policy
Stewards of Maryland’s public records law seek greater authority to adjudicate disputes – MD
Senator moves to protect privacy rights of gun owners – NY

Transparency and Open Government
Agency perspectives on online public records request portals
Amid attacks, press faces challenges to get public records to inform reports
Another batch of ‘bad cops’ made public by Brooklyn DA – NY
Million ‘deleted’ immigration court records spark spat between university, government agency – USA
Governor’s office won’t release emails even though governor says public should see them – WI
AG: Amend, not repeal public official disclosure law – Int’l (Mariana Islands)
Two City Commissioners’ emails no longer available online – FL
An eye-opening public records request for a former Charlotte City Council member – NC
Chicago routinely withholds records that should be public, but courts can force their hand – IL

Fees, Costs, Burdensome Requests
School demands illegal payment for public records – NC

Privacy, Security, and Technology
New HIPAA Security Risk Assessment Tool from Office of Civil Rights – USA
Condo buyers can keep purchases secret, NY tax officials say in reversal – NY

Records Management and Archives
Report: Blockchain Technology and Recordkeeping
ARMA & NetGovern launch definitive benchmarking of Information Governance Programs


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