Blog Posts

    Coalition Repeats Call to Reject Pending Council Secrecy Bill and Apply Usual FOIA Process to Death Investigation Records

    November 12, 2022, by Fritz Mulhauser

    UPDATE 11/17/22: The bill discussed below passed the full D.C. Council on its first reading November 15. The D.C. Open Government Coalition wrote Council members requesting amendment or postponement. A second reading could be December 6 or 15. A bill in the D.C. Council will shut down public access to all detailed death investigation reports […]

    Advocates Welcome Architects’ Initial Work on New Archives Building, But Questions Remain

    October 17, 2022, by Fritz Mulhauser

    After years of delay, a new D.C. archives building came one step closer to life with a September 1 draft report from its architects. But reviewers in the community are concerned much remains to be clarified, according to comments submitted by three groups to the D.C. Office of Public Records, the office advising the D.C. […]

    D.C. Archives Improvements Are A Work in Progress

    August 21, 2022, by Fritz Mulhauser

    Plans are moving slowly for a new D.C. Archives facility, and so far without noticeable attention to concerns surfaced in Council hearings and budget reports earlier in the year, according to D.C. Open Government Coalition discussions with advocates, observations of meetings, and a recent report by a new Archives Advisory Group to the D.C. Council. […]

    Online Access to Some Files Opens at D.C. Court of Appeals

    August 3, 2022, by Fritz Mulhauser

    Court briefs and orders in appeals of some civil cases are now available online, according to an announcement from the D.C. Court of Appeals posted July 29. The brief announcement gave no details such as how to use the new feature. (TM; DR: hints for users: As typical with court records online, access is to […]

    Coalitions Call for WMATA to Make Rules in the Sunshine for Police Body-Cam Video

    July 15, 2022, by Fritz Mulhauser

    UPDATE 7-18-22: D.C. Council member Charles Allen has asked Metro Transit Police Chief Michael Anzallo to provide a copy of completed procedures for new body-worn cameras. Allen specifically mentioned setting “clear standards for determining when footage should be reviewed and released to the public” and asked the chief to “provide members of the public – […]

    Metro Transit Police To Get Body Cameras Next Year: But Will the Video Be Available?

    July 3, 2022, by Fritz Mulhauser

    Cash-strapped Washington Metro Area Transit Administration (WMATA) has a $905,000 gift from Uncle Sam to outfit 450 transit police with body-worn cameras beginning in 2023, according to Department of Justice and WMATA releases last week (28). Public concern and victims’ lawsuits, as well as new oversight of Metro Transit Police, have been fueled in recent […]

    Coalition to D.C. Council: New CFO Will Face Challenges Including Transparency

    June 28, 2022, by Fritz Mulhauser

    The D.C Open Government Coalition warned the D.C. Council recently (16) that the nominee for the post of District chief financial officer, Glen M. Lee, has work to do if he’s confirmed. D.C. finances are uncertain (until people return to work downtown) and also public access to CFO information is too difficult, specifically: information to […]

    Coalition Successes in Council Advocacy: D.C. Fiscal 2023 Budget Plans Can Strengthen Open Government 

    May 11, 2022, by Fritz Mulhauser

    Open Government Coalition recommendations led to funding and other specific directions to D.C. agencies, including for new plans to deal with 21st century issues of access and archiving of digital records, according to D.C. legislative committees’ budget reports voted on in late April. Several recommendations directed activity to be done with community partners including the […]

    D.C. Agencies’ FOIA Request Backlog Huge for Second Year

    April 22, 2022, by Fritz Mulhauser

    D.C. agencies ended 2021 with over 3,000 unanswered requests for records, according to the mayor’s annual FOIA processing report released in March. Coalition analysis of the last five years of such reports shows 2021 was the second year of such high numbers left unanswered, even as the total request volume is trending down. With many […]

    Coalition’s Budget Testimonies Cap Council Hearings Season  

    April 12, 2022, by Fritz Mulhauser

    The D.C. Open Government Coalition has asked the D.C. Council for six investments to build transparency:   Fund improvements in Advisory Neighborhood Commissions’ records management and FOIA response Fund surge staff to clean up backlog of over 300 FOIA appeals Fund tech infrastructure for digital records management so agencies can find FOIA-requested items and comply […]