FOIA Roundup: Making policy on pesticides, Delaware's return to PIA processing, and this year's Golden Padlock winner

FOIA Roundup: Making policy on pesticides, Delaware’s return to PIA processing, and this year’s Golden Padlock winner

MuckRock’s weekly roundup from the Freedom of Information news

Written by
Edited by Michael Morisy

In this week’s roundup, we feature new details on the pesticide industry’s push to influence international policy, this year’s Golden Padlock winner, and gestures toward transparency across the country.

For previous roundups, go here. Have news, a FOIA job opening, or something else we should have on our radar? Let us know!

Delaware governor lifts order on FOIA responses

Last week, Governor John Carney of Delaware signed an order removing limitations on the state’s public records law, which have been in place since the beginning of the COVID-19 emergency order in March. Requests that have been submitted since then should now expect to be back on a regular response schedule by Monday, October 19.

In Montgomery County, IG finds most county websites don’t comply with PIA.

The Inspector General in Montgomery County, Maryland has released a report finding that many government websites in the area don’t provide contact information for submitting records requests, as required by the state’s Public Information Act.

Industry priorities became the US platform on international pesticide controls

Pressure from members of CropLife America, an agriculture trade group, helped to shape the United States position pushing for removal of “fungicides” from pesticide guidelines crafted by the international Codex Intergovernmental Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance. The Center for Biological Diversity filed a FOIA lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture to compel the release of emails. Read more from the Center for Biological Diversity and Andrew Jacobs in The New York Times.

Kent County Sheriff will soon issue body cameras department-wide

Beginning in 2021, all officers at the Kent County Sheriff’s Office in Michigan will be issued body cameras to wear while on duty, in a move that Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young believes will help inspire more comfort and trust from members of the community. The $2.2 million purchase will also include additional TASERs and dashboard cameras, and service to supposedly “streamline” compliance with the state’s Freedom of Information Act. Read more from Michael Kransz on MLive.

City of Detroit becomes this year’s IRE Golden Padlock winner

This year’s annual Golden Padlock, awarded by the group Investigative Reporters and Editors, went to Mayor Mike Duggan and the City of Detroit for its efforts to withhold and destroy records on city officials’ work to fundraise for a local nonprofit. The battle for the records is currently in court.

In Oregon, delay and debate over the next Public Records Advocate

The Oregon State Senate delayed last week’s scheduled confirmation of Public Records Advocate nominee Becky Chiao after journalists questioned Chiao’s resistance to maintaining an office independent from the governor. Read more from Hillary Borrud in The Oregonian.

More details released on the emergency F-15c

More details have been released on the February 2019 emergency landing of an F-15C Eagle by the Oregon Air National Guard 142nd Fighter Wing. The official accident report was recently released in response to a FOIA request. Read more from Joseph Trevithick on The War Zone.

Image via Governor of Delaware