Transparent Policing and FOIA Reform – January 19, 2016 Newsletter

– RSVP Now for our Town Hall on Transparent Policing (more)
– Don’t Miss from OTG (more)
– News from Coalition Partners & Others (more)


RSVP Now for our Town Hall on Transparent Policing:
Our Town Hall on Transparent Policing and Accountable Law Enforcement is coming up this Friday, January 22nd, from 11 am-1 pm. The discussion will focus on the work openness groups and criminal justice reformers are doing to obtain and use data to make law enforcement more accountable. Panelists include Kanya Bennett (ACLU), Sakira Cook (The Leadership Conference), Damian Ortellado (Sunlight Foundation), and Scott Roberts ( Pizza will be served and seating is limited, so RSVP here if you plan to attend. A call-in option will also be available.

Don’t Miss from OTG:
On January 15th, OTG coordinated a letter to the House of Representatives leadership signed by more than 40 openness and accountability organizations to express our support for the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reforms that passed in the House last week, while also sharing concern over last-minute changes to the bill. The letter praised the much-needed improvements to FOIA, but objected to carve-outs that were included to grant new exemptions to the Intelligence Community.

News from Coalition Partners & Others:

FOIA Fee Survey Results Show System Not Working

The National Security Archive and the Project on Government Oversight recently conducted a survey on the FOIA fee system, and the results suggest that most respondents see the fees as unnecessary and ineffective. The survey was completed by 100 non-government FOIA stakeholders, and most felt there would be advantages to eliminating FOIA fees, particularly given that the fees account for less than 1% of the cost of FOIA.

Society of Professional Journalists and MuckRock Launch Investigation

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) is partnering with MuckRock to investigate public access to government officials. The organizations are collecting stories from journalists who have been denied access to public officials by communications officers or other public relations professionals. If you have been prevented from speaking directly to a public official, share your story here.

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