Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information announces open government award recipients

HARTFORD >> A police chief, a state senator, an FOI Commission employee and two journalists have won the annual open government awards from the nonprofit Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information, which has been advocating for freedom of information for Continue reading Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information announces open government award recipients

CT News Junkie | Lawmakers Unlikely To Take Action On Public Disclosure, Privacy Bills

by Hugh McQuaid     CTNJ file photo Sen. Anthony Musto Lawmakers appear unlikely to act in the remaining two weeks of the session on two pieces of legislation aimed at balancing crime victim privacy with Connecticut’s public disclosure law. Continue reading CT News Junkie | Lawmakers Unlikely To Take Action On Public Disclosure, Privacy Bills

The FOI Loophole: Third-Party Contracts

Jacqueline Wattles In July last year, the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission ruled to keep secret a contract detailing the new relationship forged by the University of Connecticut and Webster Bank. The case highlights questions that journalists must grapple with Continue reading The FOI Loophole: Third-Party Contracts

State spending transparency report ranks 50 states

Today U.S. PIRG released its 5th annual scorecard of state spending transparency, evaluating how well the fifty states provide online access to data about government spending. “Following the Money 2014: How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Continue reading State spending transparency report ranks 50 states

Post-Newtown Privacy Legislation Panned By CBA

Spurred by fears that images and sounds from the Newtown massacre would wind up on the Internet or in a rumored Michael Moore documentary, Connecticut lawmakers hastily passed a law last June that prohibits the release of any homicide scene Continue reading Post-Newtown Privacy Legislation Panned By CBA

Legislative task force in Conn. adopts look, listen but do not copy (without a trip to the commission) rule

By James H. Smith, retired editor and president of the non-profit Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information When Connecticut legislators met in secret last session, working with the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, they came Continue reading Legislative task force in Conn. adopts look, listen but do not copy (without a trip to the commission) rule

Expert Testimony for the Task Force on Victim Privacy and the Public’s Right to Know

The biggest threat to freedom of information in Connecticut resides at the moment on the Task Force on Victim Privacy and the Public’s Right to Know. The task force is supposed to advise the legislature by 12/31/13 on it’s hastily Continue reading Expert Testimony for the Task Force on Victim Privacy and the Public’s Right to Know

Victim’s Rights Can’t Trump Necessity of Transparency

In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, it’s understandable that government officials may look for quick fixes, especially those that might relieve some of the victims’ anguish. But emotion-charged quick fixes and knee-jerk responses often bring devastating unintended consequences. Continue reading Victim’s Rights Can’t Trump Necessity of Transparency

Release The Sandy Hook Report

Editorial The Hartford Courant6:36 p.m. EDT, October 21, 2013 State investigators should release the full report on the Newtown school shooting if they want to stop details from leaking, to quiet conspiracy theorists and to help the state… For the Continue reading Release The Sandy Hook Report

OP-ED Releasing Newtown 911 Tapes Right Call

By JAMES H. SMITH | OP-ED The Hartford Courant 5:45 p.m. EDT, September 27, 2013 Since 1975 when Connecticut adopted its Freedom of Information law and was hailed as the leader in the nation for open government, state and local Continue reading OP-ED Releasing Newtown 911 Tapes Right Call