2016 NFOIC FOI Summit

The 2016 Freedom of Information (FOI) Summit, co-hosted by the National Freedom of Information Coalition (NFOIC) and the D.C. Open Government Coalition (DCOGC), will convene at the Dupont Circle Hotel in Washington, D.C., on October 7-8, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the federal Freedom of Information Act and to foster the exchange of ideas, experiences, and discussions about the latest issues around freedom of information laws, policies, and practices at the state and local levels across the U.S.

The summit will deliver two days of panel discussions, presentations, and group interaction featuring experts, advocates, and champions of transparency and open government.

See schedule of sessions and events below. Click here to register; to make hotel reservations

Friday, October 7

1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m., 2016 State Legislative Roundup

  • Recap – 2016 Legislative Session. Affiliate members discuss challenges, trends, victories observations from their state’s 2016 legislative session and what to look forward to in 2017.

2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Strategy Development 

  • Launching an effective public policy campaign – What’s needed to build and execute an effective public policy campaign around a law, proposed legislation, issue or policy? Learn tactics to help gather the needed resources to accomplish your goal.

4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., FOIA at 50

  • July 4, 2016, marked the 50th anniversary of the signing of the federal Freedom of Information Act. Join a discussion about the past, present, and future impact of FOIA on state and local FOI laws and practices.

6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Reception Hosted by the District of Columbia Open Government Coalition

Saturday, October 8

8:00 a.m., Breakfast Buffet

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m., NFOIC Annual Membership Meeting  

  • 2016 Review and Going Forward
  • Organizational updates and reports

10:15 am – 11:45 pm – Breakout Session #1  Policing Transparency

  • Law enforcement agencies present FOI advocates with greater difficulty in accessing public records than any other agency. What are the rights to access police-body-camera videos as well as information collected from sources such as automated license plate readers and stingrays, and police data such as officer-involved shootings, use-of-force statistics, and disciplinary files. This session furthers the conversation about coordinating police transparency and accountability efforts with the aim of identifying areas where open-government organizations can provide further support for the social and civil justice community working to advance police transparency and accountability initiatives.

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m., Hall of Fame Luncheon  

  • State Open Government Hall of Fame Induction:  RECIPIENT TBA
  • Each year, NFOIC and the Society of Professional Journalists recognize a “Hero of the 50 States” – an individual who has left a legacy of service, accomplishments and contributions to keep state and local government records and meetings open and accessible to residents.
  • Keynote Speaker

1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. – Breakout Session #2  Proactive Disclosure

  • As governments commit to make information available online in machine-readable formats, what laws and policies surround this practice to ensure it provides value to the public and satisfies FOI requirements? This session focuses on diverse challenges surrounding the release of public information and data. Sometimes referred to “data dumping,” information released en masse by public agencies can muddy the process rather than increase transparency if technology and training are inferior. If the goal is more efficient, effective governance, are state and local jurisdictions living up to their commitments around proactive disclosure? And what do we need to know as FOI advocates to help ensure that goal is met?

3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Breakout Session #3  FOI/OR Appeals and Litigation

  • When public agencies withhold records, deny open records petitions, do not offer a formal appeals process, and try to avert a lawsuit by threatening costly litigation, the public’s interests are not being served. Time is money to both petitioners and public agencies – except public agency money is our money. When government violates FOI laws, what policies and procedures are required to establish a clear path for appeals in a reasonable amount of time, and who should see that those processes transpire? This session will consider inconsistencies in state OR appeals processes, funding FOI litigation, reimbursement of attorney fees, and creating best practices and strategies for a neutral authority to ensure FOI compliance by public agencies.


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