Blog Posts

    How Much Email to Keep? Six-Month Destruction Frustrates Transit IG – And Echoes Similar Plan Nixed Years Ago in D.C.

    May 23, 2023, by Fritz Mulhauser

    The Inspector General of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the local transit agency, can’t investigate thoroughly because of a blanket internal policy of discarding all emails older than six months, according to statements of a deputy director, James S. Smith, reported Saturday (20) by Justin George in the Washington Post.  That agency policy, George wrote, […]

    Open Government Coalition Training Sessions Scheduled on “Digging Into D.C.”

    May 22, 2023, by Fritz Mulhauser

    Have questions about how to get records from the D.C. government? Getting into public meetings you thought were supposed to be open? Join the D.C. Open Government Coalition, a group of volunteer watchdogs, for “Digging into D.C.,” a series of community conversations on finding D.C. government information via records and meetings. In collaboration with the […]

    Coalition Website Shows Up in AI Training File

    May 9, 2023, by Fritz Mulhauser

    The D.C. Open Government Coalition website is among those used to train AI systems—according to a dataset reviewed by experts and reported in The Washington Post. Data scientists analyzed a file called C4 (Colossal Clean Crawled Corpus), created by Google from data gathered in 2019 by Common Crawl, a California nonprofit. The result is “a […]

    D.C. Open Government Coalition Brings Budget Requests to Recent Council Hearings

    April 23, 2023, by Fritz Mulhauser

    The District of Columbia policies of open records, open meetings and open data need updated laws and enough resources to make them work, according to five testimonies from the Open Government Coalition to hearings as the D.C. Council committees reviewed Mayor Muriel Bowser’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2024 to be voted on in less […]

    D.C. Agencies Delayed and Denied Thousands of FOIA Requests in 2022

    April 17, 2023, by Fritz Mulhauser

    Delay and denial were again the everyday experiences of requesters seeking government records in the District last year, according to official data just released. The Open Government Coalition has emphasized the figures—40 percent late, over half not found or denied—in D.C. Council oversight testimony this spring urging attention to agency performance of obligations in the […]

    Metro Transit Police Announce Policies for New Body-Worn Cameras

    April 10, 2023, by Fritz Mulhauser

    The public will have access to video from new cameras Metro police will wear starting soon. Other significant details of the new surveillance remain murky, according to the Open Government Coalition’s review of rules the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) announced recently online. The rail and bus system that serves Maryland, Virginia, and the […]

    Rental Housing Commission Agrees to Comply with D.C. Law on Publication of Opinions — Coalition’s Fourth Successful E-FOIA Enforcement Complaint 

    March 30, 2023, by Fritz Mulhauser

    The three-judge commission that decides appeals of D.C. tenants’ complaints against landlords has admitted that for years it has not published its opinions as the law requires, and it also announced a start at catching up.   The admission and correction came as the D.C. Rental Housing Commission (RHC) responded to an investigation by the […]

    D.C. Open Government Coalition Hosts Former Mayor, Senior Officials, and Community Activists at “Summit”

    March 22, 2023, by Fritz Mulhauser

    Anthony Williams, CEO and Executive Director of the Federal City Council, told an audience of transparency enthusiasts last week that his approach as mayor had been to “get info out promptly and manage it later” since “people should know what their government is accomplishing.” He praised journalists for pulling together mountains of facts for the […]

    New Disapproval Resolution Introduced in Congress – Target is D.C. Police Reform Law That Includes Major Transparency Improvements

    March 10, 2023, by Fritz Mulhauser

    UPDATE 5-26-23 President Joe Biden on Thursday (25) declined to sign the resolution that had passed both houses of Congress disapproving the D.C. police reform bill. The White House message back to Capitol Hill emphasized that Republican leaders of the disapproval measure were wrong on the merits in opposing “commonsense police reforms” and also wrong […]

    Coalition Testifies on Needed Open Government Improvements to D.C. Council Performance Oversight Hearings

    March 8, 2023, by Fritz Mulhauser

    The D.C. Open Government Coalition submitted ten oral and written testimonies during the Council oversight season just concluded. With a roster completed with two new members selected in last fall’s elections, the new Council kicked off the 25th Council period with 63 hearings by eleven committees. Their charge was to review government performance in 2021-22 […]