Upcoming Event: Inspections of pet breeders: Who should see the findings?

When: 12 noon to 1:15 p.m., Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Where: Rondo Community Library, 461 North Dale Street, St. Paul MN 55103

Sponsor: Minnesota Coalition on Government Information

RSVP: Click Here

Since 2014, state law has required commercial dog and cat breeding facilities to be licensed and inspected by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. The inspection reports generally are not open to the public. Should people have the right to scrutinize those reports just as they might look into results of inspections of day care centers, restaurants and other regulated facilities? Animal welfare advocates have lobbied the legislature seeking to open the reports to the public. Yet they remain secret.

Please join us for a conversation about a question that is likely to come before the Minnesota Legislature.


  • Don Gemberling, The state’s top expert on the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act
  • Sen. John Marty, Minnesota State Senate
  • Ann Olson, Founder/Executive Director, Animal Folks
  • Prof. Beth A. Ventura, University of Minnesota Department of Animal Science
  • Moderator: James Shiffer, a Star Tribune editor who oversees coverage of Minneapolis and St. Paul

RSVP: Click Here

Box lunches will be served to those with advance reservations.

Attendance will be limited, so please reserve your space today.

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The library is on the METRO Green Line, Dale Street Station. It has free underground parking.

We hope you can make it!


Democratic government is possible only if individuals have access to the government information they need in order to hold their government accountable.

Government at all levels has a responsibility to promote public participation by support of open access to all public government information.

Government information, regardless of physical form, must always, to the greatest extent possible, be available to the public. Government information is broadly defined to include all data held by the government including databases, information accumulated from raw data, documents, reports, maps and other publications, and all forms of correspondence.

Creation and preservation of government information that documents governmental operations are fundamental parts of assuring government accountability.

Research and public education about access to and availability of government information are essential to preserve and improve public access.


To assure the vitality of these principles, MNCOGI carries out or encourages the following activities.

MNCOGI promotes public knowledge of laws and principles regarding open access to government information by:

  • Maintaining and updating a website with links to resources and directions about how to use Minnesota’s law;
  • Hosting a blog for discussion of issues about access to government information; and,
  • Operating a speaker’s bureau to provide public presentations on access to government information.

MNCOGI informs individuals and organizations concerned about open access to government information by

  • Sponsoring “COGI-tations,” a series of presentations by subject matter experts;
  • Promoting and supporting research on these topics; and,
  • Linking with parallel efforts at the federal level that support Minnesota activities.

MNCOGI collaborates with other organizations to enhance participation in the affairs of government, particularly with regard to public access to government information, by

  • Building a coalition of organizations and individuals that promote MNCOGI principles;
  • Critiquing legislation, and,
  • Evaluating government’s compliance with state law and principles of open access.

MNCOGI recognizes a commitment to openness in government and the public right to know through the awarding of the John R. Finnegan Freedom of Information Award on FOI Day, March 16.

MNCOGI seeks grants and conducts other fundraising to increase the visibility of information access issues in the Minnesota community as a whole and in individual communities.


American Library Association – 2005 Eileen Cooke State and Local Madison Award