In the Name of Transparency
Transparency advocates look to further define ‘who’ and ‘what’ is covered under current public record laws.
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Akron, OH law would require police to automatically post deadly force video within seven days
An Akron law would require police to automatically post body camera footage within a week of an officer using deadly force.
Seven days would be among the most aggressive timelines in America as cities elect for more transparency in policing. If approved, the law would require at least three video angles to be released within a week and the rest within 30 days.
Introduced Monday, [June 14] in City Council, the new law covers only use of force incidents with “substantial risk” of resulting in death or serious bodily injury.
Though individuals can request videos of specific incidents, Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan’s senior strategic counsel, Ellen Lander Nischt, told Council’s Public Safety Committee that the ordinance would mandate an automatic process that puts the city “at the very forefront” of transparency.
Read More | Akon Beacon Journal
North Carolina Senate passes bill to make government workers’ discipline records more public
The state Senate passed a bill Monday [June 14] that would make discipline of government employees in North Carolina — whether they work for the city, county, state or UNC system — more public.
The vote was 28-19, with votes falling mostly along party lines.
There was no debate on the bill except for a summary question from Sen. Kirk deViere, a Fayetteville Democrat who voted for it along with two other Democrats. He told The News & Observer after the vote that he believes in transparency in government.
Read More | The News Observer
Delaware lawmaker drops plans for FOIA 'abuse' bill
The leading Democrat behind a bill seeking to give government officials more power to hide public documents from the public says she is pumping the brakes on the legislation after criticism over its potential repercussions.
“Out of respect to our shared interest in an open and transparent (government), I have paused this legislation to continue conversations,” Sen. Kyle Evans Gay, D-Talleyville, wrote in a Twitter thread Saturday [June 19].
Senate Bill 155 seeks to empower government officials to deny requests for public records that those officials deem “unreasonably broad, unduly burdensome, abusive” or intended to “disrupt the essential functions of the public body.”
Read More | Delaware Online News
Arizona Senate says lawmakers not subject to public record laws
Senate President Karen Fann is taking the position that Arizona courts cannot force her or any other member of the Arizona Legislature to comply with the state’s Public Records Act.
In a new court filing, attorney Kory Langhofer who represents the entire Senate, is asking Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Michael Kemp to throw out a claim by a self-described nonpartisan watchdog group to get access to all documents and materials related to the Senate’s audit of the 2020 election results.
Langhofer said the Senate has or will produce documents in its possession. Ditto with those in the possession of Ken Bennett who was tapped by Fann to be her liaison with Cyber Ninjas, the private company hired to conduct the audit.
The only exception, Langhofer said, are those which are protected as privileged or confidential.
Read More | Arizona Capitol News
ARPA funding for Public Records – Public Records software eligibility
Is public records software an eligible investment of ARPA funds?
Recovery Funds may be used:
To provide government services to the extent of reduction in revenue experienced due to Covid-19. Agencies can calculate their lost revenues using the Treasury calculations and then use ARPA funds to replace that revenue by way of investments to provide any government service, including but not limited to: police/first responder/other public safety services (such as public records software); and protection of critical infrastructure (also fulfilled by public records software).
Read More | GovQA
GovQA's Upcoming Events
GovQA regularly hosts and moderates roundtables and webinars with partners, associations, customers, and other subject matter experts to create and expand opportunities for state and local government agency members to discuss the challenges they face.
Florida Association of City Clerks Summer Conference
NAGARA Webinar: The City’s History as Outreach: Hidden Voices & New Intersections
Reserve Your Virtual Seat: Department of Transportation Roundtable
Reserve Your Virtual Seat: Northeast Roundtable
Reserve Your Virtual Seat: Illinois Roundtable
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.