Blog Posts

    Deadlines Are Reinstated for D.C. Public Records Requests – But Some Agencies Didn’t Get the Memo (At Least Not Without Coalition Prodding)

    January 26, 2021, by Fritz Mulhauser

    Information on Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) deadlines has been incorrect for weeks on the main website used by thousands submitting public records requests to over 50 D.C. agencies. The D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) also put incorrect deadline information in a standard form letter acknowledging a new request. Both texts misled the public. They warned […]

    D.C. Police Stepped in to Help the Nation at the Capitol on January 6 — But Video is Secret

    January 14, 2021, by Fritz Mulhauser

    The D.C. Metropolitan Police Department has denied the D.C. Open Government Coalition’s request for body-worn camera video of officers’ engagement at the U.S. Capitol January 6, 2021. According to the agency denial letter, release of the video would be an “unwarranted invasion of personal privacy” and also “could interfere” with an ongoing criminal investigation. The […]

    Covid Spreads, But Still No Data

    January 12, 2021, by Sandra Moscoso

    This piece was written by DCOGC Board Member Sandra Moscoso and edited by Board Member Miranda Spivack. This post is part of a series that will become a case study in the D.C. Open Government Coalition’s 2021 open government education and training program. We will post information soon early next year about how to enroll. […]

    Transparency Watch: D.C. Issues in Review, Old Year and New

    January 9, 2021, by Fritz Mulhauser

    We put aside year-end reflections on D.C. affairs as two events consumed the city this week—initially, Wednesday’s (6) news about the election in Georgia that changed the balance of power in the U.S. Senate and, not least, that could increase the possibility of D.C. voting rights. Then that night, unthinkable incitement by the President resulted […]

    More Data, Less Transparency

    December 17, 2020, by Sandra Moscoso

    This piece was written by DCOGC Board Member Sandra Moscoso and edited by Board Member Miranda Spivack. This post is part of a series that will become a case study in the D.C. Open Government Coalition’s 2021 open government education and training program. We will post information early next year about how to enroll. In […]

    D.C. Parents Are Tracking Their FOIA Request for Missing Data on Covid-19 in Schools and Daycare – Their Story Will Be A Teaching Tool in Upcoming Community Training

    December 7, 2020, by Sandra Moscoso

    This piece was co-written and edited by DCOGC Board Members Sandra Moscoso and Miranda Spivack and Fritz Mulhauser. Want to learn more about what the D.C. government and D.C. Council are doing? Interested in getting records and data about their work? The D.C. Open Government Coalition will start an education and training program in the […]

    D.C. Council Votes to Restore FOIA Processing Deadlines in the New Year – But Backlog Could Last to March

    December 2, 2020, by Fritz Mulhauser

    The expected D.C. Freedom of Information Act changes passed uneventfully in a marathon session December 1, the next-to-last legislative meeting of the current Council. An emergency law good for 90 days passed with the one required reading. A similar temporary counterpart lasting 225 days passed as well and will get its second vote at the […]

    D.C. Council Chairman Responds to Community with Proposed Return of FOIA Deadlines in the New Year

    November 25, 2020, by Fritz Mulhauser

    The D.C. Council will vote Tuesday (1) on emergency legislation to restore deadlines for processing public records requests. Beginning January 15, 2021, new requests once again must be answered in 15 days, appeals in 10. The clock also re-starts then for agencies to answer the thousands of requests backlogged since March, but their deadline will […]

    Eviction Record Sealing Legislation Needs to Assure Public Access — Coalition Tells D.C. Council

    November 15, 2020, by Fritz Mulhauser

    Legislation to help renters is gaining traction in the D.C. Council but includes court record-sealing provisions that could end the kind of research that brings tenant problems to light. Since D.C. courts are not covered by any laws providing public access to records, the Open Government Coalition has asked in a new statement that permanent […]

    D.C. Police for Years Have Violated Law in Blurring Released Police Video: New Ruling Calls for Clearer, Faster and Cheaper Access

    November 7, 2020, by Fritz Mulhauser

    After 13 months of investigation, the D.C. Office of Open Government (OOG) in a November 5 opinion has advised the Metropolitan Police Department to correct mistaken policies on blurring details and charging fees for released video. The new ruling says D.C. law supports the public right to know and requires not “redaction” but release of […]