2019 NFOIC Open Government Survey Responses - Public
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1
Timestamp
Q1: Please identify your membership organization or stakeholder group. (Check all that apply)
Q2: Over the past two years, the incidence of open records or open meeting violations in your state and local jurisdiction has...
Q3: Over the past two years, the number of open government requests in your state and local jurisdiction by reporters and news organizations has…
Q4: Over the past two years, government officials' understanding of and voluntary compliance with open government requirements in your state and local jurisdiction has...
Q5: Over the past two years, human and financial resources from media organizations devoted to litigation and legal compliance with open government requirements in your state and/or local jurisdiction has...
Q6: Over the past two years, the amount of human and financial resources from good government organizations and non-profit groups devoted to litigation and legal compliance with open government requirements has...
Q7: Over the past two years, efforts by government to provide citizen access and to comply with open government laws has...
Q8: Over the past two years, how would you rate the impact of policy reforms, amendments and legislative changes to public disclosure and open meeting laws affecting your state?
Q9: In cases where you are aware, government's denied access to information was based on...(Check all that apply)
Q10: What obstacles have you faced from government officials who deny access to information? (Check all that apply)
Q11: What types of public institutions are most difficult to obtain public information? (Check up to three answers)
Q12: Please rank the following public institutions as being the most transparent and/or cooperative? (One (1) being the most transparent, and eight (8) as the least transparent and/or cooperative) [Municipal government]
Q12: Please rank the following public institutions as being the most transparent and/or cooperative? (One (1) being the most transparent, and eight (8) as the least transparent and/or cooperative) [County government]
Q12: Please rank the following public institutions as being the most transparent and/or cooperative? (One (1) being the most transparent, and eight (8) as the least transparent and/or cooperative) [State government]
Q12: Please rank the following public institutions as being the most transparent and/or cooperative? (One (1) being the most transparent, and eight (8) as the least transparent and/or cooperative) [Federal government]
Q12: Please rank the following public institutions as being the most transparent and/or cooperative? (One (1) being the most transparent, and eight (8) as the least transparent and/or cooperative) [Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used)]
Q12: Please rank the following public institutions as being the most transparent and/or cooperative? (One (1) being the most transparent, and eight (8) as the least transparent and/or cooperative) [Public universities]
Q12: Please rank the following public institutions as being the most transparent and/or cooperative? (One (1) being the most transparent, and eight (8) as the least transparent and/or cooperative) [Police departments]
Q12: Please rank the following public institutions as being the most transparent and/or cooperative? (One (1) being the most transparent, and eight (8) as the least transparent and/or cooperative) [Local school boards]
Q13: In your jurisdiction, how would you rate the effectiveness of their enforcement measures in non-compliance cases?
Q14: Have emerging forms of digital public data and proactive disclosures made your and/or your organization's services more or less needed or valuable than they were two years ago?
Q15: Over the past two years, the number of instances in which your organization has intervened in an open government matter for the organization, clients or the public has...
Q16: Past OG surveys have shown declining media interest and involvement in FOI litigation and legal actions. Do you see that trend continuing? If so, to what do you primarily attribute it? Select the most suitable response.
Q17: Attorneys: What kind(s) of clients have you or your firm represented in open government matters? (Check all that apply)
Q18: Which of the following is needed most to make public information more accessible? (Please rank with one (1) being what is most needed, and eight (8) as what is least needed) [A general public that is better informed and more educated regarding open government laws]
Q18: Which of the following is needed most to make public information more accessible? (Please rank with one (1) being what is most needed, and eight (8) as what is least needed) [Government officials who are better informed and more educated regarding open government responsibilities]
Q18: Which of the following is needed most to make public information more accessible? (Please rank with one (1) being what is most needed, and eight (8) as what is least needed) [Increased enforcement of laws and policies]
Q18: Which of the following is needed most to make public information more accessible? (Please rank with one (1) being what is most needed, and eight (8) as what is least needed) [More and better advocacy by press associations, law firms, open government organizations and others]
Q18: Which of the following is needed most to make public information more accessible? (Please rank with one (1) being what is most needed, and eight (8) as what is least needed) [Public disclosure and public meetings laws that are easier to understand]
Q18: Which of the following is needed most to make public information more accessible? (Please rank with one (1) being what is most needed, and eight (8) as what is least needed) [More resources for government FOI administration and compliance]
Q18: Which of the following is needed most to make public information more accessible? (Please rank with one (1) being what is most needed, and eight (8) as what is least needed) [More public data and proactive disclosure]
Q19: How has the changing landscape of government access over the past two years affected the quality of news coverage in your area? 
Q20: What is the current population of the state or territory in which you reside or work?
Q21: Can you describe a circumstance in your state or community that illustrates how the open government landscape has improved?
Q22: Can you describe a circumstance in your state or community that illustrates how the open government landscape has worsened?
Q23: What is the biggest challenge to having open government today?
Q24: Please include in this space your email address in case we may contact you about your responses. (Optional)
Q24: Email addresses removed for privacy
Q25: Thank you for responding to the 2019 Open Government Survey. You may use the space below for additional comments or suggestions to improve open and transparent government. (Optional)
2
10/6/2019 18:05:04Journalist
Stayed about the same
Increased slightlyIncreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Decreased slightly
Recent changes have made our state's open government laws worse
Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unclear who holds records, Records not in retrievable form, Records not retained
Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Police departments, Local school boards
22123233UnsureSlightly more neededIncreased slightly
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
1111111
Coverage has improved somewhat
Fewer than 500,000
When I request digital records from commonwealth’s attorney office it happens quickly.
Police refuse to be open
Fewer watchdogs (media and/or citizen groups)
I work in a very small county who prefer old boys system to truly finding good people. They hate being questioned. I am only person who truly covers this government. It makes it difficult to really investigate issues.
3
10/8/2019 19:25:03
Investigative Reporters & Editors/NICAR, Journalist, State press association
Increased slightly
Stayed about the same
Decreased slightly
Decreased substantially
Decreased slightlyDecreased slightly
Recent changes have made our state's open government laws worse
Honest mistakes, Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Unclear who holds records, Records not in retrievable form, Records not retained
Municipal government agencies, County government agencies, State government, Federal government, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Police departments, Local school boards
43666555Somewhat ineffectiveMuch more neededIncreased slightly
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
3221112
Quality of coverage has decreased somewhat
5 million to 9,999,999--
Fewer watchdogs (media and/or citizen groups)
4
10/9/2019 8:28:38
National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC), CT FOG
Increased slightlyIncreased slightlyDecreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Decreased substantially
Stayed about the same
Recent changes have made our state's open government laws worse
Honest mistakes, Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees
Municipal government agencies, State government, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Police departments, Local school boards
78647577Very effectiveSlightly more needed
Stayed about the same
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
1166211
Quality of coverage has decreased somewhat
1 million to 4,999,999
A quasi- government-private foundation was created to improve public education with substantial funding from both a private foundation and state government. The organization was exempted from both FOI and state ethics rules invoking public outrage and efforts to undo these exemptions.
See answer to Q21.
Uncooperative public officials
5
10/9/2019 8:46:02
Investigative Reporters & Editors/NICAR, Journalist
Stayed about the same
Increased slightlyDecreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Decreased slightly
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Honest mistakes, Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Unreasonable fees, Records not in retrievable form, Records not retained
Municipal government agencies, County government agencies
66344455Somewhat ineffectiveSlightly more neededUnsure
I do not see a continuation of that trend
2113543No change1 million to 4,999,999
A willingness from some officials to provide requested data and documents without a formal PRR.
A stubborn reliance on hand-written records that delay fulfillment of PRRs.
Fewer watchdogs (media and/or citizen groups)
6
10/9/2019 8:57:26
Retired journalist.educator and current news media consultant
Increased slightlyUnsureDecreased slightly
Stayed about the same
UnsureDecreased slightlyDecreased slightly
Disingenuous rationalization
Lack of response/delayed response, Unreasonable fees, Unclear who holds records, Records not retained
County government agencies, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Local school boards
64467557Somewhat ineffectiveNo changeIncreased slightly
A decline in the kind of reporting that requires assertive legal actions to gain access to information
6577455No change1 million to 4,999,999NoNow
Fewer watchdogs (media and/or citizen groups)
7
10/9/2019 9:13:59
National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC)
UnsureIncreased slightlyDecreased slightly
Decreased substantially
Decreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Uncertain about impact
Honest mistakes, Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Records not retained
Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Public universities, Police departments
33226562Somewhat ineffectiveNo change
Stayed about the same
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
5314422
Quality of coverage has decreased significantly
10 million or greater
Certain larger counties and municipalities have spent resources to create open data dashboards.
Municipalities have passed or attempted to pass fee schedules that shift considerable costs to records requestors. Some government organizations have attempted to charge citizens for online access to open meetings.
Fewer watchdogs (media and/or citizen groups)
8
10/9/2019 9:18:19Media attorneyIncreased substantiallyIncreased slightly
Decreased substantially
UnsureUnsure
Decreased substantially
Recent changes have made our state's open government laws worse
Inappropriate game-playing
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unclear who holds records
Municipal government agencies, County government agencies, State government, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used)
66838566UnsureMuch more neededUnsure
I do not see a continuation of that trend
Private citizens1121212No change1 million to 4,999,999
It hasn’t improved but the investigative journalist center (a nonprofit) has done an excellent job at suing them and winning in court
Recent law by Puerto Rico’s former governor making access more difficult. DisguiSing the law with a deceptive name as if it was making information more accessible but it does the contrary.
Uncooperative public officials
9
10/9/2019 9:18:53
Investigative Reporters & Editors/NICAR, Journalist
Stayed about the same
Increased slightlyIncreased slightlyDecreased slightlyUnsureIncreased slightly
Uncertain about impact
Arguable interpretation of statutory language
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Records not in retrievable form
County government agencies, State government, Federal government, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Police departments, Local school boards
13332233Not effective at allNo changeIncreased substantially
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
3111223
Coverage has improved somewhat
10 million or greater
In Beverly Hills the city has mandates open government and sunshine laws. Palm Springs as well.
The police /sheriffs departments are using everything in their power to shut down information even tho the laws have changed to create access
Fewer watchdogs (media and/or citizen groups)
10
10/9/2019 9:53:34Government agency
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Increased slightlyIncreased slightlyIncreased slightlyIncreased substantially
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Disingenuous rationalization, Inappropriate game-playing
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions
Municipal government agencies, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Local school boards
44557428Somewhat effectiveMuch more neededIncreased slightly
Public citizens and groups taking the lead in such actions
1221121
Quality of coverage has decreased somewhat
10 million or greater
The hiring of qualified persons to fill these positions ( "Hacks" need not apply )
Union's have had a negative impact ( there montra "not my job man" )
Uncooperative public officials
Can't wait to see results--they will have an impact as our agency moves forward, with an effort to improve service's.
11
10/9/2019 9:56:00Government agencyIncreased slightlyIncreased slightly
Decreased substantially
Increased slightly
Decreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Recent changes have made our state's open government laws worse
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing
Unreasonable fees
Municipal government agencies, Public universities, Police departments, Local school boards
22561222Not effective at allMuch more neededIncreased slightly
A decline in the kind of reporting that requires assertive legal actions to gain access to information
7577547
Quality of coverage has decreased significantly
1 million to 4,999,999No.
Will use high FOIA fees to justify not giving you the info.
Uncooperative public officials
12
10/9/2019 10:02:49JournalistIncreased substantiallyIncreased substantiallyIncreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Increased slightlyIncreased substantially
Recent changes have improved our state's open government laws
Disingenuous rationalization, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response
Federal government12387645Somewhat effectiveNo change
Stayed about the same
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
Private citizens, Business interests
7654312No change5 million to 9,999,999nana
Uncooperative public officials
13
10/9/2019 10:05:54Government agency
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Increased slightly
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Increased slightly
Decreased substantially
Non-applicableDoes not apply
State government, Police departments
22323232Somewhat effectiveMuch more needed
Stayed about the same
A decline in the kind of reporting that requires assertive legal actions to gain access to information
Local governments1112333
Quality of coverage has decreased somewhat
10 million or greater
Our state legislature passed a law prohibiting “walking quorums” after a criminal court struck a prior law down.
Our state government keeps creating more exceptions to disclosure based on “security.”
Changing FOI laws and policies
14
10/9/2019 10:36:51
National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC), Investigative Reporters & Editors/NICAR, Journalist
Increased slightlyIncreased slightly
Decreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Increased slightlyIncreased slightly
Uncertain about impact
Honest mistakes, Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Unclear who holds records, Records not in retrievable form, Records not retained
Municipal government agencies, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Police departments
35661213Not effective at allMuch more neededIncreased substantially
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
5666565
Coverage has improved somewhat
5 million to 9,999,999 ..
Fewer watchdogs (media and/or citizen groups)
15
10/9/2019 10:44:24
National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC)
Increased slightly
Stayed about the same
Decreased slightlyDecreased slightlyIncreased slightly
Decreased substantially
Recent changes have made our state's open government laws worse
Inappropriate game-playing
Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees
State government, Public universities, Police departments
44214334Somewhat effectiveNo changeIncreased substantially
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
3112522No change10 million or greaternone
Our new governor delays PRR responses for months.
Uncooperative public officials
16
10/9/2019 11:35:09
Journalist, Minnesota Coalition on Government Information
Increased substantiallyIncreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Decreased substantially
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Records not in retrievable form
Federal government, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Local school boards
32368757Not effective at allNo changeIncreased substantially
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
2145763No change5 million to 9,999,999
Public pressure has resulted in faster release of body camera video in police shootings of civilians
The open data movement that promised to revolutionize access to government information appears to have stalled
Fewer watchdogs (media and/or citizen groups)
17
10/9/2019 11:47:22
National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC), State open government/First Amendment organization
Increased slightlyDecreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Decreased substantially
Increased slightlyIncreased slightly
Recent changes have improved our state's open government laws
Disingenuous rationalization, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Records not in retrievable form, Records not retained
Public universities, Police departments
44334674Not effective at allMuch more needed
Stayed about the same
A decline in the kind of reporting that requires assertive legal actions to gain access to information
1111115No change10 million or greater
Passage of legislation requiring more access to police personnel files
Widespread disregard of that legislation by law enforcement agencies
Fewer watchdogs (media and/or citizen groups)
18
10/9/2019 12:13:33
State press association, Minnesota Coalition on Government Information
Stayed about the same
Increased substantiallyDecreased slightlyIncreased substantiallyIncreased slightlyDecreased slightly
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Records not retained
State government, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Public universities
44578765Somewhat effectiveMuch more neededIncreased substantially
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
2111311
Coverage has improved somewhat
5 million to 9,999,999
Wetterling court ruling in favor of disclosing files of a closed criminal case.
The state's Amazon bid was ruled publicly inaccessible by a district court.
Uncooperative public officials
19
10/9/2019 15:02:57
Non-profit trade organization (construction)
Increased substantiallyIncreased substantiallyDecreased slightlyUnsureIncreased slightlyDecreased slightly
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Honest mistakes, Disingenuous rationalization, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Unclear who holds records, Records not in retrievable form, Records not retained
Municipal government agencies, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Police departments
34128576Not effective at allMuch more neededIncreased slightly
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
3216745
Coverage has improved somewhat
5 million to 9,999,999
Increased FOI educational opportunities for the public. Increased FOI reporting.
Apathy on behalf of government elected officials to be transparent.
Uncooperative public officials
20
10/11/2019 12:42:06Government agencyIncreased substantiallyIncreased slightlyDecreased slightlyIncreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Decreased substantially
Decreased slightly
Disingenuous rationalization
Lack of response/delayed response, Unreasonable fees, Records not in retrievable form
State government, Local school boards
43726534Not effective at allMuch more neededIncreased slightly
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
3715246
Quality of coverage has decreased significantly
500,000 to 999,999None
Governor and AG working together to heavily redact emails that should be public.
Uncooperative public officials
Governor John Carney Delaware has a problem honoring FOIA requests. Contact newsdesk@delawareonline.com for info
21
10/11/2019 13:12:22Government agencyDecreased slightlyIncreased slightlyIncreased substantiallyIncreased slightlyDecreased slightlyIncreased slightly
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Honest mistakes, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Does not apply
Federal government, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Local school boards
22387436Very effectiveNo change
Stayed about the same
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
Local governments1114322No change5 million to 9,999,999
10 years ago, public records officers and municipal attorneys took the initiative to form an organization dedicated to providing open government training -- the Washington Association of Public Records Officers. Since they, WAPRO has held semi-annual trainings attended by between 300-600 public records officers (they always sell out so the attendance is based on venue size). These trainings and other trainings provided by other organizations like MRSC have dramatically improved PRA compliance.
The proliferation of digital media and new types of communication like texting and instant messaging has proven difficult to manage for local governments and there continue to be new forms of communication that may make some government departments more effective, but are not easily identified and produced in response to open records requests.
Digital transformation within government administration
22
10/11/2019 15:28:52
National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC), Investigative Reporters & Editors/NICAR, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP), Journalist, Media attorney
Increased substantiallyIncreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Decreased substantially
Decreased slightlyDecreased slightly
Recent changes have made our state's open government laws worse
Arguable interpretation of statutory language
Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Records not in retrievable form
State government, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Public universities
66577754UnsureSlightly more needed
Stayed about the same
A decline in the kind of reporting that requires assertive legal actions to gain access to information
Newspaper, Local television, Private citizens
2231231
Quality of coverage has decreased somewhat
10 million or greater
Pro-disclosure governor elected.
Bureaucrats still prefer to hide information
Fewer watchdogs (media and/or citizen groups)
23
10/11/2019 18:29:44
National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC)
Increased slightlyIncreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Unsure
Stayed about the same
Increased slightly
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Inappropriate game-playing
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees
Municipal government agencies, State government, Public universities, Police departments, Local school boards
12537684Not effective at allMuch more neededIncreased slightly
I do not see a continuation of that trend
NGO or nonprofit organization
4315762
Coverage has improved significantly
500,000 to 999,999
The public state government portal have improved access of information.
Attorney general refused to review claims of executive privilege by the governor
Uncooperative public officials
The tendency for public officials to shield their communication, text messages for example.
24
10/11/2019 18:41:25Colorado FOIC
Stayed about the same
Increased slightlyDecreased slightlyIncreased slightlyIncreased substantiallyIncreased slightly
Recent changes have improved our state's open government laws
Arguable interpretation of statutory language
Unreasonable fees
County government agencies, Police departments, Local school boards
36136567Somewhat effectiveMuch more neededIncreased substantially
Public citizens and groups taking the lead in such actions
Newspaper, Local television, Digital-only publication, Documentarian, Freelance writer or journalist in any medium, Private citizens, NGO or nonprofit organization
2212121
Coverage has improved somewhat
1 million to 4,999,999
New state law allows access to results of internal police investigations.
Police agencies find ways to circumvent the new laws.
Uncooperative public officials
25
10/11/2019 22:50:35
National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC)
UnsureUnsureDecreased slightlyDecreased slightlyDecreased slightlyUnsure
Recent changes have made our state's open government laws worse
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Records not retained
Local school boards66637328Not effective at allNo change
Stayed about the same
A decline in the kind of reporting that requires assertive legal actions to gain access to information
7713551No change5 million to 9,999,999No
Fake open government legislation filled with loopholes.
Uncooperative public officials
26
10/12/2019 12:43:19Media attorney
Stayed about the same
Increased slightly
Stayed about the same
Decreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Increased slightly
Recent changes have improved our state's open government laws
Honest mistakes, Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees
County government agencies, Federal government, Local school boards
36678778Somewhat effectiveNo changeDecreased slightly
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
Newspaper, Local television, Digital-only publication, Wire or other news service, Private citizens, Business interests
5216374
Coverage has improved somewhat
5 million to 9,999,999
Ohio adopted a more streamlined process in the court of claims
Reluctance to award fees in records cases
Uncooperative public officials
27
10/16/2019 8:48:10
Investigative Reporters & Editors/NICAR, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP), Journalist
Decreased substantially
Decreased slightlyDecreased slightly
Decreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Decreased substantially
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Honest mistakes, Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Records not in retrievable form
Municipal government agencies, Federal government, Police departments
76478584Not effective at allNo changeIncreased slightly
I do not see a continuation of that trend
1134511
Quality of coverage has decreased somewhat
5 million to 9,999,999
There is now a first amendment clinic in the area that helps journalists access records and get to public officials
Police department now refuses to take a public records request without a case number — obviously illegal and not available to each request.
Uncooperative public officials
28
10/16/2019 10:44:18
National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC), Investigative Reporters & Editors/NICAR, Journalist
Stayed about the same
Decreased slightlyDecreased slightlyDecreased slightlyDecreased slightlyDecreased slightly
Recent changes have improved our state's open government laws
Honest mistakes, Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees
County government agencies, State government, Police departments
12437586Not effective at allNo change
Stayed about the same
A decline in the kind of reporting that requires assertive legal actions to gain access to information
1244563
Quality of coverage has decreased somewhat
1 million to 4,999,999
Body camera laws have changed, although not enough. KS at least now allows for families to see the footage, although it's not as accessible in other states.
Fewer record requests done as there are fewer journalists doing watchdog reporting.
Fewer watchdogs (media and/or citizen groups)
29
10/20/2019 8:41:12
National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC), Tennessee Coalition for Open Government
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Decreased slightlyUnsure
Stayed about the same
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Unreasonable fees, Records not retained
County government agencies, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Police departments
26547183Not effective at allNo changeIncreased slightly
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
3514276No change5 million to 9,999,999
I believe our state coalition has grown stronger in number, organization and coordination, allowing our message to better heard. We have tapped into our media network and other resources in a way that has raised awareness of open government issues. Our work and visibility has led to a special legislative committee to examine exemptions and we have been successful in educating lawmakers about various open government issues. We have also found new allies. I think an increased public spotlight on open government through our media outreach and training workshops for journalists and citizens has helped compliance with the laws because requesters have gotten smarter. But I still think more litigation to enforce the law is needed to send messages to government officials who want to "play games" to hide records or frustrate records requesters with delays or unreasonable fees.
Because of the cost of litigation, fewer public records lawsuits are being filed. Our law allows for fee-shifting only on a finding that a government entity was willful in wrongly denying records. Because of this, some government officials who are motivated to resist releasing certain records have basically realized that they can stretch the boundaries of non-compliance and no one will sue. A good example is in Knoxville with the Knox County Sheriff, who says he can charge someone compilation/labor fees if they want to inspect records, even though the state Office of Open Records Counsel disagrees and says the law is clear that no charges can be assessed for inspection only. (In our state, charges can only be assessed if someone asks for copies). The Knoxville News Sentinel journalists, who often use free inspection, have in this way been shut out of access to some sheriff department records unless willing to pay literally thousands of dollars. The word is getting around. Also, there are no caps to labor fees in Tennessee, and we are starting to see increasingly unreasonable fees for copies of public records, largely driven by review and redaction costs at labor rates of attorneys or high-level officials. A recent new newspaper editor to our state who previously worked in Kentucky said he was shocked over costs he has seen in the thousands of dollars for what he thought were fairly routine records.
Uncooperative public officials
30
10/25/2019 14:53:08
Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council member
Stayed about the same
Unsure
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing
Does not apply
Federal government, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Police departments
33377274Somewhat effectiveNo change
Stayed about the same
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
1123223No change5 million to 9,999,999
More active state attorney general's office
State legislators essentially exempting themselves from open records law.
Uncooperative public officials
31
10/30/2019 11:17:05Founder of nonprofit
Stayed about the same
Increased slightly
Stayed about the same
Decreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Arguable interpretation of statutory language
Citing invalid exceptions
Municipal government agencies, Police departments
87777784Not effective at allMuch more neededIncreased substantially
Public citizens and groups taking the lead in such actions
Newspaper, Local television, Radio, Private citizens
1313113No change1 million to 4,999,999
Local city meetings streamed live online
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/crime-law/2019/01/16/kansas-city-pays-million-family-teen-slain-by-police-officer/%3foutputType=amp
Uncooperative public officials
Federal requirements
32
10/30/2019 11:35:57
Investigative Reporters & Editors/NICAR, Journalist, journalism professor
Increased slightlyIncreased slightlyDecreased slightlyIncreased slightlyUnsureDecreased slightly
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Honest mistakes, Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unclear who holds records, Records not in retrievable form, Records not retained
Federal government, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Local school boards
56378537Not effective at allSlightly more neededIncreased substantially
A decline in the kind of reporting that requires assertive legal actions to gain access to information
1324657
Quality of coverage has decreased somewhat
10 million or greater
I'm hard pressed to think of one, but I can say that several local govenments (after fights) have conceeded that text messages are public documents.
The "open data" movement is being used as a facade for burying data. Our city has an open data site, but gives no data dictionaries or other guides for decoding what's posted. It gives the illusion but not the reality of transparency.
Fewer watchdogs (media and/or citizen groups)
33
10/30/2019 14:07:19
Investigative Reporters & Editors/NICAR, Journalist, Education Writers Association (EWA), Society of Professional Journalists
Increased slightly
Stayed about the same
Decreased slightlyUnsureUnsureIncreased slightly
Recent changes have improved our state's open government laws
Honest mistakes, Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Unclear who holds records, Records not in retrievable form, Records not retained
County government agencies, State government, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Police departments
86758442UnsureNo changeUnsure
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
1111123No change5 million to 9,999,999
State Supreme Court decisions regarding law enforcement investigations and whether or not certain parts of that investigation are still open record (decision was YES, they are and should be given upon request)
General lack of transparency by state officials and availability to the media (ie. Governor, Education Commissioner, etc.)
Uncooperative public officials
34
10/30/2019 14:28:37
Investigative Reporters & Editors/NICAR, Journalist
Decreased slightlyIncreased slightlyIncreased slightlyDecreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Increased slightly
Recent changes have improved our state's open government laws
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing
Lack of response/delayed response, Unreasonable fees, Records not in retrievable form
Municipal government agencies, Federal government
46327464Somewhat ineffectiveNo change
Stayed about the same
A decline in the kind of reporting that requires assertive legal actions to gain access to information
2332323
Quality of coverage has decreased somewhat
5 million to 9,999,999
Recent change to the Mass. public records law has resulted in more $0 responses from municipalities, which means fewer fights about fees.
Changing municipal IT systems has made automated data extraction that they publish unreliable and in need of revision.
Uncooperative public officials
35
10/30/2019 15:12:06JournalistIncreased substantiallyIncreased slightly
Decreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Recent changes have made our state's open government laws worse
Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Unclear who holds records, Records not in retrievable form, Records not retained
Federal government, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Police departments
42788677Not effective at allUnsureIncreased slightly
A decline in the kind of reporting that requires assertive legal actions to gain access to information
1111111
Quality of coverage has decreased significantly
10 million or greaterNo
Too numerous to mention. Start with Marsy's Law
Uncooperative public officials
Entities know newspapers can't afford to sue. They know they're wrong but that they can get away with it.
36
10/30/2019 15:46:30JournalistIncreased substantiallyIncreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Increased substantially
Stayed about the same
Decreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Disingenuous rationalization
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Unclear who holds records, Records not in retrievable form, Records not retained
Municipal government agencies, State government
21231711Not effective at allMuch less neededIncreased slightly
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
5774767No change10 million or greater
No. Across the board it has gotten far, far worse.
Palm Beach County State attorney increased fees and instilled remarkable delays
Uncooperative public officials
This is a serious problem that is getting worse by the day.
37
10/30/2019 21:04:12
Investigative Reporters & Editors/NICAR, Journalist, member Colorado FOIC
Increased slightlyUnsureDecreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language
Lack of response/delayed response, Unreasonable fees, Records not in retrievable form, Records not retained
Municipal government agencies, State government, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used)
64446554Not effective at allSlightly more needed
Stayed about the same
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
2113321
Coverage has improved somewhat
5 million to 9,999,999
laws changed to require digital records if that's how they're kept
law changed to increased what government could charge
Uncooperative public officials
38
10/30/2019 21:16:02NonprofitIncreased substantiallyIncreased slightlyDecreased slightlyUnsureUnsureDecreased slightly
Recent changes have made our state's open government laws worse
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Unclear who holds records, Records not in retrievable form, Records not retained
Municipal government agencies, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Local school boards
55555555Somewhat ineffectiveMuch more needed
Stayed about the same
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
Newspaper, Radio, Private citizens, Local governments, Business interests, NGO or nonprofit organization
1322333
Quality of coverage has decreased significantly
5 million to 9,999,999Grand Rapids.The state legislature.
Fewer watchdogs (media and/or citizen groups)
39
10/31/2019 10:18:21
Government agency, Government Information Librarian
UnsureUnsure
Stayed about the same
UnsureUnsureUnsure
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Unreasonable fees, Records not in retrievable form
Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Public universities, Police departments
64326777Not effective at allMuch more needed
Stayed about the same
A decline in the kind of reporting that requires assertive legal actions to gain access to information
Private citizens2211112No change500,000 to 999,999
Nothing comes to mind.
Jon Krakauer lost a legal case in Montana against Commissioner of Higher Education.
Changing FOI laws and policies
Work with attendees at these govt records conferences https://www.nagara.org// and https://www2.archivists.org/groups/government-records-section
40
10/31/2019 13:18:56state coalition repUnsureUnsureUnsureDecreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions
County government agencies, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Police departments
46336576Not effective at allNo change
Stayed about the same
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
4316752No change5 million to 9,999,999
Incremental efforts toward open data in state and local jurisdictions
Continued weakening of state access law through additional exemptions added almost every time the legislature meets
An indifferent public
Some questions, especially on the first page, are difficult to answer because we have no good metrics for tracking these things. It's hard to say, for instance, whether there are more open government issues or not. So some of this is necessarily and unfortunately anecdotal.
41
11/1/2019 14:47:00
New Mexico Foundation for Open Government
Increased substantiallyIncreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Decreased slightlyIncreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees
Public universities, Police departments, Local school boards
24488888Somewhat effectiveMuch more neededIncreased substantially
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
Newspaper, Local television, Radio, Private citizens
6514723
Quality of coverage has decreased somewhat
1 million to 4,999,999Not just one
This year, settlements involving non compliance with open records requests have resulted in almost $750,000 paid out in fines and attorneys fees.
Digital transformation within government administration
42
11/4/2019 5:15:56
Investigative Reporters & Editors/NICAR, Journalist
Increased slightlyUnsure
Decreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Recent changes have made our state's open government laws worse
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unclear who holds records, Records not retained
State government, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used)
22627222Not effective at allMuch more needed
Stayed about the same
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
2221111
Quality of coverage has decreased significantly
1 million to 4,999,999local gov
Archive access to state police records
Uncooperative public officials
43
11/8/2019 17:17:42writer -- indymediaDecreased slightly
Decreased substantially
Increased slightlyUnsureUnsureDecreased slightly
Uncertain about impact
Disingenuous rationalization
Lack of response/delayed response
State government, Police departments
22714234Not effective at allSlightly more needed
Stayed about the same
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
Digital-only publication, Freelance writer or journalist in any medium, Private citizens
2621222
Quality of coverage has decreased somewhat
1 million to 4,999,999
Local Govs are much more likely to comply with requests
Maine State Police have dawdled, played stupid and actively inhibited archives from complying
Fewer watchdogs (media and/or citizen groups)
We (I'm an intervenor) now have a federal case where an internet journalist was arrested for speaking at a city commission meeting during the public comment period. The chair of the meeting ordered the local policeman to arrest him. They did, then dismissed the charges.
44
11/11/2019 12:36:41
Journalist, State press association
Increased slightlyIncreased substantiallyUnsure
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unclear who holds records, Records not in retrievable form
State government, Police departments
22644665Not effective at allSlightly more neededUnsure
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
3231112
Quality of coverage has decreased somewhat
500,000 to 999,999
Delaware Open Data Portal
Any FOIA request to state police, state homeland security, state dept of environment
Changing FOI laws and policies
Delaware's FOIA law and relevant court cases are very poor for transparency; almost no advocacy groups exist; ACLU is MIA; newspapers have no money for litigation; neither does anyone else; no law school of substance within the state.
45
11/11/2019 13:04:34Journalist
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Decreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Decreased slightly
Recent changes have made our state's open government laws worse
Disingenuous rationalization
Lack of response/delayed response
Municipal government agencies, Local school boards
22333426UnsureNo change
Stayed about the same
A decline in the kind of reporting that requires assertive legal actions to gain access to information
2132442No change1 million to 4,999,999No
School district PIOs and attorneys don’t understand their responsibility and think open records requests are optional
Uncooperative public officials
46
11/11/2019 13:13:34JournalistIncreased slightlyIncreased substantiallyDecreased slightly
Decreased substantially
Decreased slightlyDecreased slightly
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Unclear who holds records, Records not in retrievable form
Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Public universities
66768877Somewhat ineffectiveNo changeIncreased slightly
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
4312765No change5 million to 9,999,999It hasn't.
Public agencies - and, for our coverage, Michigan State University in particular - have pursued a strategy of charging astronomical fees for the release of what should be reasonably uncontroversial information by arguing that such material needs to be reviewed and redacted by highly paid attorneys.
Uncooperative public officials
It's not easier to understand laws that we need, but laws with more teeth, laws that apply more general (in Michigan, for instance, the governor's office and executive staff are exempt), and laws that are more up to speed on newer tactics (i.e. keeping documents in the hands of private contractors).
47
11/11/2019 13:59:27JournalistIncreased substantiallyUnsureDecreased slightly
Decreased substantially
UnsureUnsure
Uncertain about impact
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Unclear who holds records, Records not in retrievable form, Records not retained
Municipal government agencies, County government agencies, State government, Federal government, Public universities, Police departments, Local school boards
66566878UnsureMuch more neededIncreased substantially
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
1111111
Quality of coverage has decreased somewhat
Fewer than 500,000nonoAn indifferent public
48
11/12/2019 6:26:51
Investigative Reporters & Editors/NICAR, Journalist, State press association
Stayed about the same
Decreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Decreased slightlyDecreased slightly
Decreased substantially
Recent changes have made our state's open government laws worse
Honest mistakes, Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Unreasonable fees, Unclear who holds records, Records not retained
Municipal government agencies, Federal government
81464451Not effective at allMuch more neededIncreased substantially
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
7774356
Quality of coverage has decreased somewhat
Fewer than 500,000No.
Local sheriff opted to black out scanner transmissions; municipalities now cite DPPA rules to avoid giving out names of people accused of crimes; DNR insisted on a $500+ fee for documents when no fees were previously required; outrageous fees for digital copies of criminal complaints ($1.50 per page), I waited more than a year for an open records request to be filled from the city of Wausau.
Uncooperative public officials
49
11/12/2019 12:02:23Media attorneyIncreased substantially
Stayed about the same
Decreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Increased slightlyDecreased slightly
Recent changes have made our state's open government laws worse
Honest mistakes, Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees
State government, Public universities, Police departments, Local school boards
66252135Somewhat ineffectiveSlightly more needed
Stayed about the same
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
Newspaper, NGO or nonprofit organization
1211322
Quality of coverage has decreased somewhat
1 million to 4,999,999
Reconsideration of denials upon prompting by public interest group
Police video
Fewer watchdogs (media and/or citizen groups)
50
11/12/2019 13:23:23
Media Law Resource Center, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP), Journalism Continuing Lecturer
Increased substantiallyIncreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Decreased slightlyIncreased slightly
Decreased substantially
Recent changes have improved our state's open government laws
Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions
Federal government, Police departments
55522521UnsureMuch more neededIncreased substantially
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
Newspaper, Digital-only publication, Documentarian, Freelance writer or journalist in any medium, NGO or nonprofit organization
7677577No change5 million to 9,999,999
CA recently granted access to police misconduct records previously inaccessible for the past four decades
Few newsrooms have any money/initiative to fight public records access denials.
Uncooperative public officials
The demand has never been greater for access to state and federal records being withheld. Several years ago I began to take on selected matters on a pro bono basis. This demand has continued -- unabated -- and I'm doing more access work than ever before, e.g., I now have some 25 pending access cases (state and federal public records suits) at any given time.
51
11/12/2019 19:27:17
Investigative Reporters & Editors/NICAR, Journalist, State press association
Stayed about the same
UnsureDecreased slightly
Decreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Stayed about the same
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Honest mistakes, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Unreasonable fees, Unclear who holds records, Records not in retrievable form, Records not retained
Municipal government agencies, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Police departments
87567366Somewhat effectiveUnsure
Stayed about the same
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
3331422No change5 million to 9,999,999Not sure.
Mass State Police giving me the wrong records, seemingly to avoid giving me a trooper's time sheets even though I'm entitled to them under the state public records law.
Fewer watchdogs (media and/or citizen groups)
I heard a Boston-based nonprofit recently ended its right-to-know hotline for reporters. If such resources exist or might start up again in the future, I'd like to learn more about that.
52
11/13/2019 14:48:09JournalistIncreased slightlyUnsure
Decreased substantially
Increased slightlyUnsure
Decreased substantially
Uncertain about impact
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Unclear who holds records
Municipal government agencies, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Police departments
78547567Not effective at allMuch more needed
Stayed about the same
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
1122312
Quality of coverage has decreased somewhat
5 million to 9,999,999N/A
Citizens in Neosho have been trying to extract info from their municipal government about city employees and TIF districts.
Uncooperative public officials
53
11/13/2019 15:07:34
Journalist, State press association
Increased slightlyIncreased slightlyDecreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Increased substantiallyDecreased slightly
Recent changes have improved our state's open government laws
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Records not retained
State government, Public universities
22434332Not effective at allMuch more needed
Stayed about the same
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
7775547
Coverage has improved somewhat
5 million to 9,999,999
A constitutional amendment approved by voters required the legislature for the first time to abide by the Sunshine Law.
Government agencies are trying to redact certain information citing the First Amendment to the US Constitution.
Uncooperative public officials
54
11/14/2019 1:50:39Journalist
Stayed about the same
Increased substantiallyDecreased slightlyDecreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Decreased substantially
Recent changes have made our state's open government laws worse
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees
Municipal government agencies, County government agencies, State government, Police departments
65544675Somewhat ineffectiveSlightly more needed
Stayed about the same
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
3211421
Coverage has improved somewhat
1 million to 4,999,999
Kansas City, Missouri began dumping all its data on an 'open data' website. It makes their data easily accessible and downloadable.
A case out of Kansas where police shot and killed a woman in bed and there were questions on whether or not it was a clean shoot. The department had body cameras and refused to release the footage, sighting the vaguely written part of the KORA which gives them the right to not release content that could expose investigatory tactics by law enforcement. They literally just stormed into a room, pointed guns and then said she reached for something. That's when they shot her. I'm not sure what super secret investigative tactic would have been used in that case. Our attorney didn't want to take the issue to court because we get body camera footage from Kansas law enforcement agencies quite often. His concern is that if we took it to court and lost (since Kansas is very heavily Republican) we wouldn't get any body camera footage from any agency moving forward.
Uncooperative public officials
55
11/14/2019 10:28:54Media attorneyIncreased slightlyIncreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Unclear who holds records, Records not retained
Municipal government agencies, Police departments
66568688Very effectiveNo changeIncreased slightly
Public citizens and groups taking the lead in such actions
Newspaper, Digital-only publication, Freelance writer or journalist in any medium, Private citizens, NGO or nonprofit organization
1232311
Quality of coverage has decreased somewhat
5 million to 9,999,999
Our Democratic governor is a little more pro-transparency than our Republican governor
Our courts -- especially appellate courts -- seem to be anti-transparency
Fewer watchdogs (media and/or citizen groups)
56
11/14/2019 12:11:15
Investigative Reporters & Editors/NICAR, Journalist
Increased substantiallyIncreased slightly
Decreased substantially
Increased slightlyIncreased slightly
Decreased substantially
Recent changes have made our state's open government laws worse
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Records not in retrievable form, Records not retained
Municipal government agencies, County government agencies, State government, Police departments
33322232UnsureMuch more neededIncreased substantially
Public citizens and groups taking the lead in such actions
Private citizens1111111
Quality of coverage has decreased somewhat
1 million to 4,999,999
After we sue they submit and give in
We have sought records for animals and shelters and get the run around.
Uncooperative public officials
Penalties to the clerks and public officials that play games.
57
11/14/2019 12:48:56Civic TechnologistIncreased slightlyIncreased slightlyDecreased slightlyUnsureIncreased slightlyUnsure
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Honest mistakes, Disingenuous rationalization
Lack of response/delayed response, Unreasonable fees, Unclear who holds records, Records not in retrievable form, Records not retained
State government, Federal government, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used)
43352346UnsureMuch more neededUnsure
Public citizens and groups taking the lead in such actions
5565457
Coverage has improved somewhat
1 million to 4,999,999
City of Wichita launched (limited) Open Data Portal. Wichita Eagle ramped up it's investigative reporting efforts, though they got rid of their one data journalist.
Backroom dealings on major city initiatives by Mayor Longwell.
Uncooperative public officials
58
11/15/2019 10:33:04
State press association, Media attorney
Increased slightlyIncreased slightlyDecreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Increased slightly
Stayed about the same
Recent changes have made our state's open government laws worse
Honest mistakes, Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Records not in retrievable form, Records not retained
Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Police departments, Local school boards
54457488Somewhat ineffectiveNo changeIncreased slightly
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
Newspaper, Digital-only publication, Magazine, Freelance writer or journalist in any medium
3112222
Quality of coverage has decreased somewhat
10 million or greater
It has not improved over the past two years, with the exception that some national non-profits have begun to represent media organizations pro-bono, and that has helped in the direct cases and in providing a deterrent to inappropriate access denials in other cases.
Our state passed a law removing law enforcement audio/video from the state's primary public access access law. Instead, these records are now nearly inaccessible under the state's Wiretap Act. These records are rarely released unless law enforcement chooses to release them, and they rarely do unless it makes them look good. There is now zero accountability available from law enforcement audio/video, defeating one of the main purposes for gathering them in the first place.
Uncooperative public officials
59
11/19/2019 0:00:48ParalegalUnsureIncreased substantiallyIncreased slightlyDecreased slightlyDecreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Recent changes have made our state's open government laws worse
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unclear who holds records
Municipal government agencies, County government agencies, State government
66856545Not effective at allSlightly more neededUnsure
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
Private citizens1113123No change10 million or greater
I recently filed a Foil request with a state agency. I received a response within the statutory deadlines and the requested records were obtained in a timely manner. There was a time when the same agency would fail to answer repeated Foil requests and resist all attempts for disclosure.
Some state agencies have set aside resources to expedite the processing of the many foil requests they receive. Which has improved the processing of the foil requests. Unfortunately, many foil officers are not cognisant of the FOI regulations other than whatever basic information they were issued. Thus they are merely clerks shuffling paper around. The actual decision makers are agency attorneys who are not dedicated to reviewing the foil applications. They are usually tasked with other duties and give short nuance the the foil requests that cross their desks. This failure to assign a dedicated reviewer undermines any efforts to better foil processing by the agencies.
Uncooperative public officials
I believe the key to strengthening our FOI laws is to give teeth to the penalties for failure to comply with them. Here in New York, despite much lauding about the strengthening of our FOI laws from the governor and the legislature. The truth is that neither one wants to really strengthen the laws for the sole reason that its advantageous for them to keep them weak as they both routinely violate them. I think that violations of certain FOI laws for the purpose of undermining, delaying or maintaining an untruthful public record ex. wrongful convictions
should be made into a felony. District attorneys have been caught numerous times indulging
in the manipulation of public perceptions by hiding records. Elected officials are also famous for ordering agency heads into delaying or obfuscating the FOI process in an effort to keep records hidden. Open government laws needs to be strong if they are to be given weight by the record keepers.
60
11/20/2019 11:08:15
National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC)
Increased slightlyIncreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Decreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Stayed about the same
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Honest mistakes, Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees
County government agencies
67447244Very effectiveSlightly more neededDecreased slightly
A decline in the kind of reporting that requires assertive legal actions to gain access to information
Newspaper, Digital-only publication, Documentarian, Freelance writer or journalist in any medium, Private citizens, Business interests, NGO or nonprofit organization
1134364No change10 million or greater
Access to data has improved slightly to moderately.
Access to records related to students is terrible.
Uncooperative public officials
61
11/20/2019 11:44:55
National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC)
Stayed about the same
UnsureUnsure
Stayed about the same
Increased slightly
Stayed about the same
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Honest mistakes, Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Records not in retrievable form, Records not retained
Municipal government agencies, County government agencies, State government, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Public universities, Police departments, Local school boards
76748888Somewhat ineffectiveNo change
Stayed about the same
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
1111122
Quality of coverage has decreased significantly
1 million to 4,999,999
OG enforcement statutes strengthened by legislation
Failure of enforcement agencies to quickly resolve OG disputes
Uncooperative public officials
Kansas, sadly, remains a comparatively "dark state."
62
11/20/2019 11:46:21
National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC), State press association
Increased slightly
Stayed about the same
Increased slightlyIncreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Increased slightly
Recent changes have improved our state's open government laws
Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions
Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Police departments
53335575Somewhat effectiveSlightly more neededIncreased slightly
I do not see a continuation of that trend
2322222No change1 million to 4,999,999
New attorney general has sided with open govt advocates against police refusal to release into.
Police refusing to release cities where officers live as part of an investigation of the officers. This info is open by law.
Uncooperative public officials
63
11/20/2019 12:21:12
National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC), Media attorney
Stayed about the same
Increased substantially
Stayed about the same
Increased slightly
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Decreased slightly
Honest mistakes, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees
County government agencies, Police departments, Local school boards
25242232Somewhat effectiveMuch more neededIncreased slightly
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
Newspaper, Local television, Digital-only publication, Wire or other news service, Freelance writer or journalist in any medium, Private citizens
2213444
Coverage has improved somewhat
500,000 to 999,999
Governments seem to be a bit more responsive to letter demands from the FOI Hotline
A recent statutory provision that authorizes governmental entities to charge for legal reviews of FOI requests.
Uncooperative public officials
64
11/20/2019 14:01:54
National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC)
Unsure
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
UnsureUnsure
Stayed about the same
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Honest mistakes, Disingenuous rationalization, Ignorance of the law
Does not apply
Municipal government agencies, County government agencies, Public universities
55558555Somewhat effectiveMuch more neededIncreased substantially
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
2222422No change1 million to 4,999,999UnsureUnsure
Digital transformation within government administration
65
11/20/2019 16:11:35State press associationIncreased slightlyIncreased slightlyDecreased slightlyIncreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Decreased slightly
Recent changes have made our state's open government laws worse
Honest mistakes, Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Unclear who holds records, Records not in retrievable form, Records not retained
Municipal government agencies, County government agencies, State government, Public universities, Police departments, Local school boards
44442564UnsureSlightly more neededIncreased slightly
A decline in the kind of reporting that requires assertive legal actions to gain access to information
6212434
Quality of coverage has decreased somewhat
5 million to 9,999,999No answerNo answer
Changing FOI laws and policies
66
11/20/2019 20:27:31
National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC)
Increased substantiallyUnsure
Decreased substantially
Increased substantiallyUnsure
Decreased substantially
Recent changes have made our state's open government laws worse
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Unclear who holds records, Records not in retrievable form, Records not retained
State government, Public universities, Police departments
22855885Somewhat effectiveUnsure
Stayed about the same
I do not see a continuation of that trend
1113422
Coverage has improved significantly
1 million to 4,999,999
2019 amendment aimed at expanding available mechanisms for submission of open records requests
Interpretation of language in 2019 amendment aimed at expanding available mechanisms for submission of open records requests that resulted in a narrowing of the available mechanisms.
Uncooperative public officials
67
11/20/2019 20:49:36
National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC)
Increased slightly
Stayed about the same
Decreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Decreased slightlyDecreased slightly
Honest mistakes, Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Unreasonable fees
Federal government, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Public universities
12587643Somewhat effectiveSlightly more needed
Stayed about the same
I do not see a continuation of that trend
Newspaper, Private citizens
2134675
Coverage has improved somewhat
5 million to 9,999,999
A new law firm dedicated to open government litigation has just been launched and it is already begun filing suits over wrongful denials.
The state's new governor has mothballed some reforms of his predecessor.
Uncooperative public officials
68
11/21/2019 7:49:52
Investigative Reporters & Editors/NICAR, Journalist, State press association, Journalism professor / member of Virginia Coalition for Open Government
Increased slightly
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Decreased slightlyIncreased slightly
Stayed about the same
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Honest mistakes, Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Unreasonable fees
Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Police departments
45247374Somewhat ineffectiveMuch more neededIncreased slightly
Public citizens and groups taking the lead in such actions
2112231
Quality of coverage has decreased significantly
5 million to 9,999,999
I would defer to Megan Rhyne, executive director of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government.
I would defer to Megan Rhyne, executive director of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government.
Uncooperative public officials
69
11/21/2019 9:37:31JournalistIncreased substantiallyIncreased substantially
Decreased substantially
UnsureUnsure
Decreased substantially
Recent changes have made our state's open government laws worse
Disingenuous rationalization, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Records not in retrievable form, Records not retained
Municipal government agencies, Police departments, Local school boards
86343388Not effective at allMuch more neededIncreased substantially
I do not see a continuation of that trend
1211122No change500,000 to 999,999No
PIO refuse to return calls or favor one media outlet over another
Uncooperative public officials
70
11/21/2019 10:03:17
National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC), Media attorney
Stayed about the same
Increased substantiallyIncreased slightlyDecreased slightlyUnsureIncreased slightly
Recent changes have improved our state's open government laws
Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees
Municipal government agencies, Police departments, Local school boards
55227277Not effective at allSlightly more neededIncreased substantially
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
Local television7216356
Coverage has improved somewhat
1 million to 4,999,999n/an/a
Uncooperative public officials
71
11/21/2019 10:20:11
Investigative Reporters & Editors/NICAR, Journalist
Decreased slightlyIncreased substantially
Stayed about the same
Increased slightlyIncreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Uncertain about impact
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Unclear who holds records, Records not in retrievable form, Records not retained
Municipal government agencies, County government agencies, State government, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Public universities, Police departments
66848786Not effective at allMuch more neededIncreased slightly
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
1311311No change1 million to 4,999,999none
Freelance reporter denied access to Dept of Corrections press releases
Uncooperative public officials
72
11/21/2019 11:04:25
Investigative Reporters & Editors/NICAR, Journalist
Stayed about the same
Increased substantially
Stayed about the same
Unsure
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Honest mistakes, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Non-applicable
Lack of response/delayed response, Unreasonable fees, Unclear who holds records, Records not in retrievable form
Municipal government agencies
22222227Not effective at allMuch more neededUnsure
A decline in the kind of reporting that requires assertive legal actions to gain access to information
4211412No change5 million to 9,999,999
Recently, the City of Memphis launched a data portal for easy access to certain information. This is a great example of a municipality being proactive, which is especially helpful for journalists on a daily deadline.
There are times where records custodians see the FOIA deadlines required by our state Open Records law as mere suggestions.
Uncooperative public officials
73
11/21/2019 11:07:44
Virginia Coalition for Open Government
Stayed about the same
Increased slightly
Stayed about the same
Increased slightly
Stayed about the same
Increased slightly
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Non-applicable
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Records not retained
Federal government, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Public universities, Police departments
13456782UnsureMuch more neededIncreased slightly
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
Newspaper, Freelance writer or journalist in any medium, Private citizens
2714563No change5 million to 9,999,999..
Digital transformation within government administration
This survey seems heavily skewed against the government. Q9 in particular is a complete push question. Q23 should have an "Other."
74
11/21/2019 11:12:34JournalistIncreased slightlyIncreased substantially
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Unsure
Decreased substantially
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Records not in retrievable form, Records not retained
Municipal government agencies, County government agencies, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Police departments
88848887Not effective at allMuch more neededIncreased substantially
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
Local television7131131No change1 million to 4,999,999
No, it has not improved.
Blanket denial of anything from public officials. "Sue us" they say.
Uncooperative public officials
75
11/21/2019 11:16:24TV Station executiveUnsure
Stayed about the same
Decreased slightly
Decreased substantially
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Decreased slightly
Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Records not in retrievable form
Municipal government agencies, County government agencies, Local school boards
33223448Somewhat effectiveNo change
Stayed about the same
A decline in the kind of reporting that requires assertive legal actions to gain access to information
2221132No change500,000 to 999,999NoNo
Uncooperative public officials
Thank you.
76
11/21/2019 11:23:56Media attorneyIncreased slightlyIncreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Increased substantiallyUnsureDecreased slightly
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Disingenuous rationalization, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees
Municipal government agencies, County government agencies, Police departments
77435574Not effective at allMuch more neededIncreased substantially
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
Local television2111322No change1 million to 4,999,999No
They have a blatant disregard for the process and know that there is no repercussion for not complying.
Uncooperative public officials
I answered with Alabama in mind, but we handle these matters in many states with our television stations. NC and MS are also states where we run into constant issues.
77
11/21/2019 11:58:49JournalistIncreased substantiallyIncreased substantially
Stayed about the same
Increased substantiallyIncreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Recent changes have made our state's open government laws worse
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions
Municipal government agencies, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Public universities, Police departments
83524671Not effective at allUnsureIncreased substantially
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
Local television4327156No change1 million to 4,999,999
No. Open government in this state is atrocious.
City governments won't even respond to Open Record Requests because state law doesn't include a time-frame for a response. One city attorney recently said, he would NEVER release the file of any city worker! "The public doesn't have a right to know" was the precise comment.
Uncooperative public officials
Open Record Laws need to be enforced. There needs to be an outside party to oversee the process and force everyone to follow the law.
78
11/21/2019 16:45:50elected official
Stayed about the same
Increased slightlyIncreased slightlyUnsureUnsureIncreased slightly
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Non-applicableDoes not apply
Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Public universities
41466623UnsureNo changeUnsure
A decline in the kind of reporting that requires assertive legal actions to gain access to information
Local governments2333113
Quality of coverage has decreased significantly
Fewer than 500,000No.
Reporters make up information. They don't bother to FOIA information. I wish they would ask questions and use FOIA. It isn't FOIA that needs work; it is REPORTERS.
Fewer watchdogs (media and/or citizen groups)
79
11/21/2019 19:37:28JournalistIncreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
UnsureUnsureUnsure
Uncertain about impact
Inappropriate game-playing
Lack of response/delayed response
Public universities46644878UnsureUnsureUnsure
A decline in the kind of reporting that requires assertive legal actions to gain access to information
2233333
Quality of coverage has decreased somewhat
1 million to 4,999,999
While it is an improvement for the police department to post information about specific crimes, the public is not always aware the information is there, and the page is hard to navigate.
When the Secretary of States office purged voter rolls they did a poor job informing the public about those efforts to match addresses with voters. People literally found out at the polls that their names were not there because a post card was returned to the SOS office.
An indifferent public
80
11/21/2019 19:54:31
Journalist, State press association
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
UnsureUnsure
Stayed about the same
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Ignorance of the law
Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Records not in retrievable form
Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Public universities, Police departments
33228484Somewhat effectiveSlightly more neededUnsure
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
3212232
Quality of coverage has decreased somewhat
1 million to 4,999,999
The state has a FOIA advisory agency that issues advisory opinions.
Media outlets often pass on expensive challenges to FOIA violations.
An indifferent public
81
11/21/2019 20:43:09JournalistIncreased slightlyIncreased substantiallyDecreased slightlyIncreased slightlyIncreased slightly
Decreased substantially
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Arguable interpretation of statutory language
Lack of response/delayed response
State government, Local school boards
23873317Very effectiveSlightly more needed
Stayed about the same
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
6137711
Quality of coverage has decreased somewhat
10 million or greater
You can request and receive documents via email...it just takes many months.
I requested a public document crucially related to a breaking news event. It was one page and the spokeswoman could see it on her screen. I received it six months later.
Uncooperative public officials
82
11/22/2019 13:34:32JournalistIncreased slightlyIncreased slightlyDecreased slightlyIncreased slightlyUnsureDecreased slightly
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Inappropriate game-playing
Lack of response/delayed response, Records not in retrievable form
Municipal government agencies, County government agencies, State government, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used)
68666331Not effective at allNo changeIncreased slightly
Public citizens and groups taking the lead in such actions
1111111
Quality of coverage has decreased somewhat
1 million to 4,999,999No
Continued abuse of executive session
Uncooperative public officials
83
11/22/2019 13:39:05Journalist
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Decreased slightlyUnsure
Stayed about the same
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Disingenuous rationalization, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Unclear who holds records
State government23514333Not effective at allNo change
Stayed about the same
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
3114111No change5 million to 9,999,999No.No.
Uncooperative public officials
84
11/22/2019 15:06:19
National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC)
Stayed about the same
Increased slightlyDecreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Decreased slightly
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Disingenuous rationalization, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees
Municipal government agencies, Police departments
64454475Somewhat effectiveNo changeIncreased slightly
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
Private citizens1144521No change500,000 to 999,999
Activity by the Office of Open Governmemnt
Neglect or opposition by legislators
Uncooperative public officials
85
11/22/2019 15:12:13
Journalist, State press association
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Decreased slightly
Arguable interpretation of statutory language
Citing invalid exceptions
Municipal government agencies, County government agencies, State government, Federal government, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used)
44444444Somewhat effectiveNo change
Stayed about the same
Improvements in compliance and/or proactive disclosures negating the need for legal actions
Newspaper, Private citizens, Business interests
1111111No changeFewer than 500,000nono
Digital transformation within government administration
86
11/22/2019 21:31:23Public School District
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Recent changes have improved our state's open government laws
Disingenuous rationalization, Inappropriate game-playing
Citing invalid exceptions
Local school boards54454446Not effective at allSlightly more needed
Stayed about the same
A decline in the kind of reporting that requires assertive legal actions to gain access to information
1111331No change10 million or greaternono
Uncooperative public officials
87
11/23/2019 12:44:26
Journalist, State press association, Society of Professional Journalists
Increased slightlyIncreased slightlyDecreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Decreased slightly
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Inappropriate game-playing
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees
Municipal government agencies, State government, Police departments
83435473Not effective at allSlightly more neededUnsure
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
5511442
Coverage has improved somewhat
Fewer than 500,000It has not improved
Submitted FOIA request for documents from municipal government, requesting fee waiver; government contended that the necessary city-generated form was not filled out and insisted that the fee, which would have amounted to approximately $5,000 to pay for, had to be paid.
Uncooperative public officials
Alabama's laws related to public information are abysmal - changing the law to require that documents produced within a certain time frame (currently, no such language exists) would go a long way. Additionally, with digital files being readily available for most information processed over the last 10 years or more, allowing people to access documents or procure documents digitally would be a huge step in the right direction.
88
11/23/2019 23:11:33State press associationIncreased slightlyIncreased slightly
Stayed about the same
UnsureUnsure
Stayed about the same
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Unreasonable fees, Unclear who holds records
Municipal government agencies, County government agencies, State government, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Police departments, Local school boards
76546667Not effective at allNo changeUnsure
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
Local television2211332No change10 million or greaterI cannot!
The fake news mentality does not help!
Uncooperative public officials
89
11/25/2019 13:49:35JournalistIncreased slightlyIncreased slightly
Decreased substantially
Increased substantiallyIncreased substantially
Decreased substantially
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Unclear who holds records, Records not in retrievable form, Records not retained
Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Police departments
47568576Not effective at allNo changeUnsure
A decline in the kind of reporting that requires assertive legal actions to gain access to information
4414171
Quality of coverage has decreased significantly
10 million or greaterNo.
My city sued me after I had to file a lawsuit to get records they illegally denied. Also - Xavier Becerra threatening journalists and of course the Carmody case.
Uncooperative public officials
90
11/25/2019 14:04:56
Journalist, State press association
Increased slightlyDecreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Decreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Unsure
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions
Public universities, Police departments
45356556Somewhat effectiveSlightly more needed
Stayed about the same
A decline in the kind of reporting that requires assertive legal actions to gain access to information
2233443
Quality of coverage has decreased somewhat
10 million or greater
Ohio lawmakers passed a law creating a mediation process for a record-holder and news organization to help avoid litigation.
The same lawmakers continue to add new exemptions to public records laws each year.
Uncooperative public officials
91
11/25/2019 16:40:34Journalist
Stayed about the same
Increased slightly
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Unsure
Stayed about the same
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Arguable interpretation of statutory language
Lack of response/delayed response
Local school boards57464238Somewhat effectiveSlightly more neededUnsure
Improvements in compliance and/or proactive disclosures negating the need for legal actions
Newspaper1322442
Coverage has improved somewhat
1 million to 4,999,999
Disclosure of county records
Board of Education withholding information
Uncooperative public officials
92
11/26/2019 11:32:02State press associationUnsureUnsureUnsureIncreased slightlyUnsureUnsure
Recent changes have improved our state's open government laws
Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees
Police departments44444444Not effective at allNo changeUnsure
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
6311714No change1 million to 4,999,999N/AN/A
Uncooperative public officials
I didn't have an answer for Q12 but the form required me to provide an answer so I just picked 4 for all of the responses.
93
11/26/2019 20:40:47Journalist
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
UnsureDecreased slightly
Recent changes have improved our state's open government laws
Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response
Municipal government agencies, Local school boards
56344642Not effective at allNo changeIncreased slightly
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
1111111No changeFewer than 500,000N/AN/A
Fewer watchdogs (media and/or citizen groups)
94
11/27/2019 10:43:04
National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC), Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition
Increased slightlyIncreased slightly
Stayed about the same
Decreased substantially
Unsure
Stayed about the same
Recent changes have improved our state's open government laws
Honest mistakes, Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Records not retained
Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Police departments, Local school boards
44447676Not effective at allNo change
Stayed about the same
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
4317256
Coverage has improved somewhat
5 million to 9,999,999
Passage of a law requiring public access to records of completed police internal affairs investigations.
Public universities and school districts naming just one finalist for president and superintendent positions and refusing to release applications of other finalists.
Uncooperative public officials
95
11/27/2019 23:30:39
National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC), Investigative Reporters & Editors/NICAR, Journalist, Georgia First Amendment Foundation
Increased slightlyIncreased substantiallyIncreased slightlyIncreased substantiallyIncreased substantially
Stayed about the same
Recent changes have improved our state's open government laws
Honest mistakes, Disingenuous rationalization, Arguable interpretation of statutory language, Inappropriate game-playing, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees, Records not in retrievable form
Municipal government agencies, Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Police departments, Local school boards
81268456Somewhat effectiveSlightly more neededIncreased substantially
A decline in the kind of reporting that requires assertive legal actions to gain access to information
1112242
Coverage has improved somewhat
10 million or greater
GFAF’s win for the AJC over City of Atlanta has put other municipalities on notice.
Recalcitrant gatekeepers requiring excessive ORRs for routine info like mugshots, police incident reports, routine city questions
Uncooperative public officials
Thanks for caring.
96
11/28/2019 9:08:16professor of journalismIncreased slightlyIncreased substantiallyIncreased slightlyIncreased slightlyIncreased slightly
Decreased substantially
Decreased slightlyIgnorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response
Federal government, Public universities, Police departments
55366587Somewhat ineffectiveSlightly more neededIncreased slightly
A decline in the kind of reporting that requires assertive legal actions to gain access to information
Newspaper, Freelance writer or journalist in any medium
1112221
Quality of coverage has decreased significantly
Fewer than 500,000nothing
Decline in number of reporters at media entities
An indifferent public
97
11/30/2019 10:56:49JournalistIncreased substantiallyUnsure
Decreased substantially
UnsureIncreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Uncertain about impact
Inappropriate game-playing
Citing invalid exceptions
Municipal government agencies, County government agencies, Police departments
77884488Not effective at allMuch less neededUnsure
Lack of funds/resources for litigation
3211121
Quality of coverage has decreased somewhat
10 million or greaterNope
Ask for and did not receive information generated at a county level. County ordered by state to provide info. County did not.
Fewer watchdogs (media and/or citizen groups)
98
11/30/2019 12:44:57Blogger
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
UnsureUnsureIncreased slightly
Uncertain about impact
Non-applicable
Lack of response/delayed response
Quasi-public governmental bodies (entities that enter into contracts with governmental bodies or help determine how public funds are used), Police departments, Local school boards
42555588UnsureSlightly more neededUnsure
A decline in the kind of reporting that requires assertive legal actions to gain access to information
1111111No changeFewer than 500,000NoNo
Fewer watchdogs (media and/or citizen groups)
funding for Independent Journal
99
12/1/2019 2:35:55Government agencyIncreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Decreased substantially
Ignorance of the law
Citing invalid exceptions
County government agencies
88888888Not effective at allMuch more neededIncreased substantially
A decline in the kind of reporting that requires assertive legal actions to gain access to information
Documentarian, Freelance writer or journalist in any medium, Private citizens, Local governments, Business interests, NGO or nonprofit organization
1111111
Quality of coverage has decreased significantly
10 million or greaterNo
The media propaganda conceals much of what is of main concern to the public
Uncooperative public officials
100
12/2/2019 22:53:33
National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC)
Stayed about the same
Stayed about the same
Decreased slightly
Decreased substantially
UnsureDecreased slightly
The quality and effectiveness of open government laws have stayed about the same
Honest mistakes, Disingenuous rationalization, Ignorance of the law
Lack of response/delayed response, Citing invalid exceptions, Unreasonable fees
Municipal government agencies, Public universities, Police departments
65427665Somewhat ineffectiveMuch more neededIncreased slightly
A decline in the kind of reporting that requires assertive legal actions to gain access to information
2134765No change1 million to 4,999,999Sadly, no.
The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents received our annual "Black Hole Award" for the opaque manner in which they selected a new President for the University, a process which included numerous and repeated violations of the ORA. Despite being highlighted by the media and our organization, the Regents have continued to stumble in subsequent meetings, including this very day in which they held a meeting that appears to have violated the ORA in at least three ways.
An indifferent publicThanks for all YOU do!
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