The Call for Transparency is Growing Louder
As the call for government transparency grows louder, states, counties, and cities across the country continue to find themselves in the position of ‘expand the public’s access to records, or face possible litigation’.
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Delaware bill increases transparency around crash data
Senate Bill 28 aims to increase public access to [Delaware’s] accident statistics and reports.
This bill, signed by the governor Sept. 15, ultimately allows the Delaware Department of Transportation to share unidentifiable data with the public through its website.
It should be noted, too, that accident data is still not public information under this new bill.
Instead, as [the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Stephanie] Hansen clarified, the Department of Safety and Homeland Security is making some “de-identified data” available through DelDOT’s website. This data must include certain information, such as alcohol or drug use, date and time of the accident and road, lighting and weather conditions.
Read More | Government Technology
Don’t shroud disciplinary records of North Carolina employees
A bill to make disciplinary records of government employees in North Carolina more public seems to be catching a second wind in the state legislature.
Current law requires the “general description of the reasons” for a government employee’s promotion to be public record in North Carolina. That means that as it stands now, public officials — including law enforcement, teachers and school administrators — can be demoted, suspended or transferred without the public ever knowing why. (A 2010 law made public whether employees had been suspended or demoted, but it doesn’t require a description of the reasons.)
The Government Transparency Act of 2021 would expand this requirement to provide the general descriptions for demotions, transfers, suspensions, separations and dismissals. It would apply to all current and former state employees, local government employees and public school employees.
Read More | The Charlotte Observer
New York Civil Liberties Union claims New York Police Department is withholding officers’ disciplinary records database
The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) claims the New York Police Department (NYPD) is illegally withholding databases on disciplinary records of officers, new court papers allege.
The group made a sprawling request in April under the Freedom of Information Law for the NYPD to turn over any databases it maintains on departmental misconduct and disciplinary records, according to the NYCLU’s Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit from Thursday [Sept. 30].
The civil rights group made the request after the NYPD in March launched a searchable database on uniformed officers, which it claimed wrongfully withheld records “related to unsubstantiated allegations,” such as when an officer was cleared of misconduct claims or when an investigation didn’t made it to a departmental trial, the court papers claim.
This means that the database “only covers a small portion of misconduct and disciplinary records possessed by the NYPD,” the filing alleges.
Read More | NY Post
Why is Missouri Governor Parson going to court to stop a records request for the number 407.1500?
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is going to court to block a Sunshine Law request seeking information that would show how often his office has invoked a specific state law to deny other requests for records.
Attorneys for Parson filed a motion on Wednesday [Sept. 29] for a protective order in the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District as part of a lawsuit originally centered on former Gov. Eric Greitens’ use of the message-destroying app Confide. The case has morphed into a battle over the extent of the Sunshine law.
Parson wants the court to ensure his office doesn’t have to fulfill a records request made by Mark Pedroli, an attorney representing Ben Sansone, an open government advocate who launched the Confide case.
Read More | The Kansas City Star
GovQA video & audio records request management + redaction
The introduction of body-worn cameras in recent years has resulted in a huge increase in video and audio records for many government agencies — particularly those in public safety.
Government agencies are challenged with reviewing and redacting these files in a reasonable timeframe and keeping rising costs under control. Jurisdictions need to find effective solutions for managing the growth of video and audio records.
The GovQA-Veritone Redact Integration Solution simplifies the secure storage, redaction, transfer, and tracking of video and audio records from inside GovQA.
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.
ICMA Annual Conference
ISD Virtual Panel
ARMA InfoCon 2021
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.