Obstacles to open records, February 10, 2012

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FOIAchat was a weekly conference on Twitter from 2 PM to 3 PM EST under the hashtag #foiachat. The discussion invited collaboration between activists, citizens, bloggers and journalists on public records requests topics. Topics included the Freedom of Information Act and state equivalents, open meetings laws, and related issues.

FOIAchat was decommissioned in 2013. Read our legal disclaimer.

13 contributors


  • Just learned police like to keep to their own systems rather than city/county retain (and give out) their records.
  • Local governments in Kansas sometimes have roll call, but often do not.
  • In theory legislators could meet with governors if no state business discussed.
  • In Michigan, lawmakers to mandate that officials be physically present in open mtgs.
  • Being able to know who voted on what is a fundamental part of transparent government and accountability to citizens.
  • Having telephone conference calls is fairer to rural areas. Dodge City to Topeka is 5 hour drive.


  • Legislators having dinner with governor. Unclear if Brownback dinner meetings violated open records law. County District Attorney is investigating. Kansas legislators meeting governor at dinner were subject to open meetings law, especially if majority of any committee was present.