Government records

Reporters Committee asks U.S. Marshals Service to explain latest statement on mug shots

Press Release | January 4, 2012
January 4, 2012

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has written to the U.S. Marshals Service asking it to clarify its position on the release of federal booking photographs under the federal Freedom of Information Act. Specifically, the Reporters Committee inquired into future access policies within the geographic bounds of the Sixth Circuit where a federal appeals court ruled in 1996 that these mug shots are public documents. The letter was co-signed by 21 leading news media companies and organizations.

Reporters Committee argues for release of voter records in federal appeals court brief

Press Release | October 21, 2011
October 21, 2011

Voter registration applications are public records under federal law that cannot be withheld from release simply because of an arbitrary promise of secrecy by state officials, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press argued in a friend-of-the-court brief filed today.

Government obstructing access to science data, panel says

Kirsten Berg | Newsgathering | Feature | October 4, 2011
October 4, 2011

With anecdotes of bureaucratically tangled interview requests, scripted and chaperoned sources, stalled federal Freedom of Information Act responses and politicized press offices, a panel of health and science journalists speaking at the National Press Club Monday said that many of the government agencies they rely on have failed to live up to the Obama administration's sweeping transparency promises.

SDX grant to Reporters Committee for FOIA appeals guide

Press Release | May 18, 2011
May 18, 2011

The board of directors of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation of the Society of Professional Journalists has approved a grant to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to fund a journalists’ guide to crafting and filing federal Freedom of Information Act appeals.

Reporters Committee brief argues against federal mug shot rules

Press Release | May 2, 2011
May 2, 2011

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed a friend-of-the-court brief Monday asking a federal appeals court to revisit the U.S. Marshals Service’s “inane” policy of releasing federal suspects’ mug shots based on the requestor’s physical location.

Reporters Committee joins outrage over enactment of Utah records law

Press Release | March 9, 2011
March 9, 2011

Despite petitions, rallies, letters, phone calls, social media campaigns, media editorials and personal outreach asking him not to do it, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert Tuesday evening signed into law House Bill 477, which severely curtails government transparency. Joining the outrage over the signing was the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, which had earlier written to the governor asking him to veto the bill.

Reporters Committee lauds another win for openness in Supreme Court

Press Release | March 7, 2011
March 7, 2011

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press lauded today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in another decision favorable to open government, this time ruling that the Navy’s use of a Freedom of Information Act exemption for records regarding internal agency personnel rules and practices was improperly invoked to deny the release of maps and charts.

Utah governor urged by Reporters Committee to veto bill curbing transparency

Press Release | March 7, 2011
March 7, 2011

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press is urging Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert to veto legislation that if enacted would “only invite greater government secrecy and back-room dealings” and leave Utah as the only state to take such draconian provisions against openness.

In a letter sent to Gov. Herbert today, Reporters Committee Executive Director Lucy A. Dalglish called on the governor to “side with the people of Utah and veto this bill.”

Wisconsin's open records law applies to city's legal bills

Miranda Fleschert | Freedom of Information | Quicklink | September 21, 2009
September 21, 2009

The city of Green Bay must release its legal bills to the public, a Wisconsin judge ruled Friday.

Budgetary constraints do not excuse open records delay

Miranda Fleschert | Freedom of Information | Quicklink | September 15, 2009
September 15, 2009

Staff shortages and budgetary constraints do not excuse a failure to timely comply with Kentucky's Open Records Act, the state's attorney general ruled on Aug. 25.

The case began when Kentucky New Era reporter Sarah Hogsed requested restaurant health reports for 2008 and 2009 from the Pennyrile District Health Department and encountered a 21-day delay. Under the law, the government has only three days to respond to a request.