Blog Posts

    Washington Post Gives Rare Showcases to Freedom of Information Law

    March 25, 2024, by Fritz Mulhauser

    The Washington Post recently devoted most of a full page in the front A Section to “A visual guide on how to FOIA,”—referring to the laws at the federal and state levels that empower the public to get government records.  Supporting the equivalent law in D.C. is a major mission of the Open Government Coalition. Nate […]

    Flawed Cost Estimates Derailed Expanded Access to Police Records: Coalition Urges Council to Get Better and More Transparent Information

    March 3, 2024, by Fritz Mulhauser

    “Prediction,” goes an old Danish proverb, “is hazardous, especially about the future.” For the D.C. Council cost estimates of new laws, recent evidence shows it’s exceptionally so. The Open Government Coalition reported new findings to the Council in February hearings that seriously question the Chief Financial Officer’s (CFO) multi-million dollar cost estimate for a half-dozen […]

    Coalition Sunshine Week “Summit” 2024: Save the Date – March 13

    January 24, 2024, by Fritz Mulhauser

    Join us for the Coalition’s popular spring event for the community and all friends of open government. It’s in person only, Wednesday, March 13, 2024, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. We’ll meet at 1050 Connecticut Ave., N.W., 10th floor (corner of L Street; Metro Rail Red Line Farragut North). Expect food and refreshments, talking how […]

    Coalition Testimony at D.C. Council Oversight Gets Agency Action Releasing Overdue Data

    January 20, 2024, by Fritz Mulhauser

    A D.C. agency this week published a data report within 24 hours of Open Government Coalition testimony that it was two years overdue. Annual data collection was included in the Death With Dignity Act passed in 2016 to check for anything like some witnesses’ predictions the act could enable abuse of vulnerable seniors. The law […]

    Coalition Urges D.C. Council to Remove Anti-Transparency Provisions in Latest Crime Bill

    January 15, 2024, by Fritz Mulhauser

    UPDATE 1/22/24 The Coalition today (22) wrote the full Council asking that police transparency and accountabiliy sections of the pending crime bill be removed to allow thorough consideration they have not yet received. This is important since many details of the bill are a 180-degree U-turn on the road to police reform laid out in […]

    The Top Stories of 2023

    December 23, 2023, by Fritz Mulhauser

    We’ve compiled our choice of the top five developments in D.C. open government news in 2023. Keep up with transparency developments and Open Government Coalition activities by checking back often. And come out to our Open Government Summit during Sunshine Week, March 13. #1: Mayor turns her back on police transparency in 2023 in budget […]

    Holiday Letter from D.C. Open Government Coalition

    December 22, 2023, by Fritz Mulhauser

    Coalition board president, Kirsten Mitchell, sends this letter to all: Dear Friend of Open Government: As the New Year approaches, the D.C. Open Government Coalition (DCOGC) thanks you for your support and commitment to enhancing public access to government information and ensuring the transparency of the District of Columbia government. In the coming year, save […]

    Coalition Lawsuit: Court Should Reverse Three D.C. Denials of Access to Database

    December 1, 2023, by Fritz Mulhauser

    It should have been an easy request for the D.C. government to fulfill: provide a basic count of public records requests—those received but not closed, the backlog that at one point reached 3,000 during the pandemic. But the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) rebuffed three such requests in 2021, 2022, and 2023, each […]

    Transparency Is Key to Accountability – D.C. Council Should Reject Reductions Buried In D.C. Crime Proposals

    October 30, 2023, by Fritz Mulhauser

    UPDATE 12/12/23 – iThe mayor’s “ACT Now” crime bill was introduced in the D.C. Council as Bill B25-0555. Coalition board member and attorney Bob Becker testified on the “very negative consequences” from police transparency and accountability cutbacks included in the bill at an 11-hour marathon hearing November 29. (Written statement here; video here, with Coalition […]

    Coalition Urges MPD to End “Culture of Secrecy” in Testimony on Nomination of New Chief

    October 1, 2023, by Fritz Mulhauser

    UPDATE 11/8/23: The D.C. Council approved unanimously the nomination of Pamela Smith as police chief Tuesday (7). Ahead of the vote, Washington City Paper reviewed the debate over the nomination including a close look at transparency and officer accountability. Columnist Alex Koma wrote “Some wonder if Smith has the stomach to take on the District’s […]