International Right To Know Day – September 28 2009

Posted by: on Sep 28, 2009 | No Comments

The World Prepares for International Right To Know Day 2009. Check out the details at FreedomInfo.org.


Find out more at the Freedom of Information Advocates Network (FOIAnet).

International Right to Know — COGI-tations Presenter Notes

Posted by: on Sep 19, 2009 | No Comments

September 10, 2009, COGI-tations Forum
The right to ask…the right to know
Notes.pdf from presenter, Barb Frey

Posted by: on Sep 1, 2009 | No Comments

The right to ask…the right to know:
International Right to Know Day 2009
COGI-tations: A program of the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information

Featuring: Barbara A. Frey
Director of the Human Rights Program in the College of Liberal Arts University of Minnesota

Thursday, September 10, 2009
4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
Midtown Commons, 2324 University Ave West, St. Paul (just East of Raymond)
Women Venture meeting room

COGI-tations are public forums sponsored by the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information.All COGI-tations are free and open to the public.

Background Information

Barbara A Frey is Director of the Human Rights Program in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota. The Program, established in 2001, provides academic, research and internship opportunities for students in the field of international human rights.

Frey is well known as an international human rights teacher, advocate and scholar. She served from 2000-2003 as an alternate member of the U.N. Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, a body of independent experts who advise the United Nations on human rights policy. From 2002-2006 Frey served as Special Rapporteur of the Sub-Commission to conduct a study on the issue of preventing human rights abuses committed with small arms and light weapons. From 1985 through 1996 Frey was Executive Director of Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights. She is a co-convenor of the Midwest Coalition for Human Rights, a network of 44 organizations working to promote research and advocacy on human rights issues.

Frey is the recipient of the 2008 Don and Arvonne Fraser Award from the Advocates for Human Rights. She received the 2008 Outstanding Faculty Community Service Award from the University of Minnesota. She received the first Iustitia et Lex award from the University of St. Thomas Law School in 2003. She was named the 2001 Myra Bradwell Award winner by Minnesota Women Lawyers for promoting the interests of women in the legal profession and in the community. She is the immediate past Chair of the St. Paul-Minneapolis Committee on Foreign Relations. Frey attended the University of Notre Dame (BA, 1978) and the University of Wisconsin Law School (JD, 1982). She worked as an associate lawyer at Dorsey & Whitney in Minneapolis from 1983-85.

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International Right to Know Day
is celebrated each year on September 28. Increasingly the issue of the right to know as a basic human right is on the public agenda. Come learn more about plans, gather materials, and explore ways in which Minnesotans can participate in the celebration.

Minnesota’s Government Data Practices Act: A Primer

Posted by: on Jul 16, 2009 | No Comments

COGI-tations: A program of the Minnesota Coalition on Government Information

Minnesota’s Government Data Practices Act : A Primer
Hint: It’s Not as Complicated As You Think!

Presenter: Don Gemberling – “Godfather” of Minnesota data practices

Minnesota’s data practices law is based upon openness to information by and about state and local government. Advocacy groups, citizen journalists, concerned citizens, bloggers and all concerned about access to government activities need to know their rights. Elected and appointed officials need to understand their responsibility to assure access. Don Gemberling knows the law and can clarify it for those who may be intimidated, confused or overwhelmed by a straightforward law based in the assumption of transparency. Attendees are encouraged to bring their government information horror stories for analysis and feedback.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009
4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
Midtown Commons, 2324 University Ave West, St. Paul
(just East of Raymond)
Minnesota Council of Nonprofits conference room, Suite 20

COGI-tations are public forums sponsored by the
Minnesota Coalition on Government Information.
All COGI-tations are free and open to the public.

The Top Ten Most Wanted Government Documents

Posted by: on Mar 22, 2009 | No Comments

The Center for Democracy and Technology recently released a report on the most wanted federal documents. Here’s a list of the Top Ten Most Wanted Government Documents from the report.

  1. Public Access to All Congressional Research Service Reports
  2. Information About the Use of TARP and Bailout Funds
  3. Open and Accessible Federal Court Documents Through the PACER System
  4. Current Contractor Projects
  5. Court Settlements Involving Federal Agencies
  6. Access to Comprehensive Information About Legislation and Congressional
    Actions via THOMAS or Public Access to Legislative Information Service
  7. Online Access to Electronic Campaign Disclosures
  8. Daily Schedules of the President and Cabinet Officials
  9. Personal Financial Disclosures from Policymakers Across Government
  10. State Medicaid Plans and Waivers

Governing with Accountability

Posted by: on Mar 22, 2009 | No Comments

Governing with Accountability, the report just issued by Growth & Justice, strikes a blow for accountability at the state government level. The report uses six principles to describe “a better way to define our expectations in these important areas and the need to hold leaders, managers and organizations accountable for delivering services and other valued public policy outcomes.” Find the full report online or contact Growth & Justice info@growthandjustice.org.

A Plan to Offer 50 Sites on Politics in 50 States

Posted by: on Feb 19, 2008 | No Comments

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/18/technology/18observer.html
The New York Observer prepares for the election by launching a spate of state-specific publications.

Secret criminal cases may at last see light of day

Posted by: on Feb 17, 2008 | No Comments

The U.S. attorney’s office may consider automatic review of sealed criminal cases following an inquiry by the Star Tribune.
http://www.startribune.com/local/15653437.html

States failing FOI responsiveness

Posted by: on Feb 17, 2008 | No Comments

http://nfoic.org/resources/bga/
States failing FOI responsiveness
Better Government Association and National Freedom of Information Coalition give 38 out of 50 states “F” grade in overall responses to FOI requests.
Analysis by the Better Government Association
Overview by Charles N. Davis

Digitizing & Preservation

Posted by: on Feb 16, 2008 | No Comments

http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/2008/08-029.html
If the feds recognize the importance of preservation, can/will the state be far behind – or will we digitize everything that matters and assume it will be there when it’s needed? Who’s thinking about that?