Past Research and Statements

Public Information Handouts

How Does D.C. Law Protect Whistleblowers? (2019)

How DC’s Open Records and Open Meetings Laws Can Work for You (2019)


Open Government Act and Other Proposals (2012)

Office of Open Government Budget (2014, 2018)

FOIA Problems at Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs (2016)

Office of Open Government Oversight (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)

Expungement of Criminal Records Legislation (2017)

Charter School Transparency (D.C. Council 2015, 2019-1, 2019-2, 2020; D.C. Public Charter School Board 2019)

Commission on Archives and Record Management Act of 2018 (2018)

FOIA Portal (OCTO Oversight 2019)

BEGA Melissa Tucker Confirmation (2019)

Problems in Public Access to MPD Body-worn Camera Video D.C. Council 2019)

Problems of DC FOIA Funding and Oversight Since 2018 Changes in Law (BEGA Oversight 2020)

Recommendations for Funding and Direction to Office of Administrative Hearings to Publish Opinions to Comply with D.C. FOIA (FY 21 budget hearing, 2020)

Public statements

Letter to Mayor Gray on Open Government Improvements Needed (2013)

D.C. Open Government Action Plan – For Mayor Bowser’s First Term (2014)

Opposing Mayor’s Proposals to Exempt Police Body-worn Camera Video From FOIA (2015)

Request to Council Member Mary Cheh to open hearings on D.C. government contracting problems (2016)

Failure to Reappoint Director of Office of Open Government (2018-1, 2018-2)

Proposed Changes Reducing Independence of Office of Open Government (2018-1, 2018-2)

Request to IG to Investigate Unlawful Actions Regarding Office of Open Government (2018)

Notification to D.C. Personnel Officials of BEGA Personnel Actions Contrary to Law (Regarding OOG director position) (2018)

Opposing FOIA Amendments Attached to D.C. Budget by Council Chair Without Hearing (2019)

Letter to Mayor Bowser asking ban on government employee use of WhatsApp encrypted communication channel (2019)

Letter (with others) to Mayor Bowser Recommending Transparency and Other Features in Design of Any Smart-phone Apps for Virus Contact-Tracing (2020)

Letter to Charles Allen, Chair of D.C. Council Committee on the Judiciary & Public Safety, Recommending Additions to Police Reform Legislation (2020)


“Strengthening Government Transparency Act of 2017” (Coalition active in drafting) (bill 2017; discussion)


D.C. government agencies’ FOIA processing performance (2012, 2013, 2015)

D.C. public bodies’ open meetings performance (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)

D.C. government agencies’ compliance with mandatory publication law (E-FOIA) (2010, 2016)

Police body-worn camera video – survey of access law and policy nationwide (2016)

Government officials’ text messages – survey of access law nationwide (2017); also published, Communications Lawyer, Spring 2017.

D.C. government contracts – public access to details (2017)

Charter schools elsewhere – detailed survey of laws in other states and selected big cities on coverage of authorizers and schools under public records and open meetings laws (2019); summary (2019)

Uses of DC Open Government Laws by Press and Others (2022)

Coalition legal actions

Litigation: access to D.C. Council members’ official emails on private accounts (complaint 2012; settlement 2013)

Amicus brief: whether D.C. legislator may use “speech and debate” privilege to justify FOIA withholding. Vining v. Council of D.C., D.C. Court of Appeals Case No. 14-CV-1322 (brief 2015; opinion 2016; discussion)

Letter brief to D.C. Attorney General on incorrect denial of access to police body-worn camera video shown in court (letter; discussion)

Amicus brief: opposing use of “husher” to mask bench conversation between judge and potential jurors in criminal jury selection, as violation of “public trial” requirement in U.S. Constitution. Blades v. United States, D.C. Court of Appeals Case No. 15-CF-663 (2019).

Amicus brief: supporting trial court decision ordering D.C. mayor to comply with D.C. FOIA requirement to publish budget materials without need of individual record request. Terris, Pravlik & Millian, LLP v. District of Columbia, Superior Court Case No. 2020 CA 003087 B.   D.C. Court of Appeals, Case No. 21 CV 543. Brief; blog discussion (2022).

Sustained Coalition complaints

Open Meetings Act violations

  • D.C. Mayor’s Cross-Sector Education Task Force closed meetings (2015)
  • D.C. State Superintendent of Education School Funding Working Group closed meetings (2016)
  • D.C. Housing Authority closed meetings (2016)
  • United Medical Center closed meeting (2017)
  • Education Research Practice Partnership closed meetings (2022)
  • Healthcare Workforce Task Force multiple issues (2022)

FOIA problems

  • Improper redaction by Inspector General of report on schools’ chancellor unethical conduct (2017)
  • Unlawful refusal by Technology Office of some email searches requested under FOIA (2017)
  • Unlawful request by Metropolitan Police Department for identification from some FOIA requesters (2018)
  • Office of Administrative Hearings failure to publish opinions as required by E-FOIA statute (2020)
  • Office of the State Superintendent of Education failure to publish opinions on special education complaints as required by E-FOIA statute (2020)
  • Metropolitan Police Department excessive redaction when releasing body-cam video under FOIA (complaint 2019, opinion 2020)
  • Mayor’s Office of Legal Counsel treatment of appeals of agency FOIA denials — several years’ backlog and failure to publish decisions as law requires (2022)