Transparency Advocates are Losing Patience

Agencies slow to adapt to and answer the public’s increased cry for transparency find themselves in the hot seat.

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South Carolina Representative's legislation would force FDA to release COVID vaccine data in 100 days

South Carolina Rep. Norman on Thursday [Dec. 2] introduced legislation that could force the Food and Drug Administration [FDA] to release all documents relating to the coronavirus vaccine within the next 100 days.

The legislation is a direct response to a request made last month by the federal agency to prolong releasing data on COVID vaccines for up to 55 years.

Justice Department lawyers representing the FDA argued the plaintiff’s request includes more than 329,000 pages of documents — all of which need to be scrubbed to ensure “trade secret[s]” are not publicly released.

The FDA has proposed that just 500 pages a month be released instead, which means if the federal judge agrees to the agency’s terms, the PHMPT can expect to receive the entirety of the information it seeks by 2076.

Read More | Fox News

Transparency and Trust: Choosing & Using Technology to Bridge the Divides

42% of people say a lack of perceived transparency from police has hurt their opinion of law enforcement over the last five years. This is according to a national survey conducted by our partners at Veritone.

Join us December 14th @1:00 CST for a panel discussion in which we’ll cover the impact and application of this 3000 person survey and other data sources on those choosing technology to manage requests for law enforcement records.

Learn more and Register


Florida legislators work on bill offering public records exemption for law enforcement officers, vehicles

This week, [Florida] state Sen. Hooper, and state Rep. Willhite, showcased their proposal “which will exempt public records requirements for law enforcement geolocation information held by a law enforcement agency.”

“Geolocation information refers to the information collected using a GPS or other mapping or locational system that tracks the location or movement of law enforcement officers or law enforcement vehicles,” Willhite’s office noted on Wednesday [Dec. 1]. “Exempting the geolocation information from public records requirements protects law enforcement officers while they are on patrol and protects the exposure of their residence.”

“It is imperative now more than ever to support and protect the privacy of law enforcement officers. Senate Bill 1046 and House Bill 773 will add additional layers of privacy and protection to the possible exposure of a law enforcement officer’s home address, increasing the chance of harm to them and their families. I look forward to working with Representative Willhite to keep law enforcement officers and their families safe,” Hooper said.

Read More | Florida Daily


Loudoun County Schools attempt to charge parents $36,000 for records related to ‘sexual assault’ and ‘rape’

A parent in Loudoun County, VA filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Loudoun County Public Schools on Oct. 18 and was asked to pay over $36,000 to retrieve public records.

The FOIA requested by mother Michelle Mege asked for “all communications, including press releases, statements, emails, or other correspondence in any format within the LCPS possession” that use the words “sexual assault” or “rape” between May 1 and Oct. 18, 2021.

“Retrieving these documents would take a half hour’s work by the supervisor of information technology at a cost of $36.08,” [Wayde Byard, Loudoun County Public Schools public information officer] said. “Review of these documents – at the rate of 200 per hour – is estimated to take 500 hours. This work would be performed by the public information officer at the rate of $72.15 per hour. Loudoun County Public Schools estimates it would cost $36,111.68 to fulfill this request.”

Read More | Daily Caller


Ohio spent $56k and counting to keep COVID deaths in nursing homes hidden from public

The Ohio Department of Health has spent more than $56,000 on legal bills to fight WCPO [News] to keep the number of nursing home COVID deaths at each facility hidden from the public.

WCPO obtained the state’s legal invoices this week through a public records request. They show the state, through the Ohio Attorney General’s office, is spending $200 per hour on attorney Dale Cook of the Columbus law firm Isaac Wiles to fight WCPO’s request for public information on COVID death numbers at Cincinnati-area nursing homes.

Attorneys for Ohio’s health department tried to argue that death information is private under state law. Special Master Jeff Clark disagreed, noting that the information is already available on death certificates, which are public records. He ruled that officials violated the state’s public records law when they refused to release to WCPO the number of COVID-19 deaths at a Cincinnati nursing home. A judge later adopted that ruling.

Read More | WCPO News


GovQA launches 2021 inaugural online customer training conference: 400+ customers attended

GovQA, the leading provider of cloud-based SaaS automated workflow solutions for government compliance, led its online Fall customer training conference, with over 400 attendees participating. This was the largest customer training conference in the country for those on the frontlines of managing public records. The virtual conference was held November 9-10, 2021, and included 15 GovQA speakers, 27 sessions representing 14 topics, including implementation, training, customer success, development and user interface (UX).

Read More | WFMZ News

GovQA's Upcoming Events

GovQA’s hosts and moderates events to create and expand opportunities for state and local government agency members to discuss the challenges they face.

Transparency and Trust: Choosing & Using Technology to Bridge the Divides

Department of Corrections Roundtable

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The Peers in Public Records Newsletter (formerly FOIA News) is a bi-monthly e-newsletter brought to you by GovQA. It is a collection of the latest trends in public record requests and government transparency initiatives, shared stories, informative case studies, and actionable knowledge that will help you calm the chaos and keep your organization compliant. Send your comments to

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