This week’s FOIA round-up: The Interior Department releases redacted records regarding the Border Patrol assistance efforts and the criminal investigation into the Flint water crisis continues
In this week’s FOIA round-up, the Interior Department releases heavily redacted documents to regarding the deployment of law enforcement officials to assist Border Patrol at the U.S.-Mexico border, Michigan authorities issue search warrants for the devices of former governor Rick Snyder as part of an ongoing criminal investigation into the Flint water crisis, and the Intercept obtains emails suggesting the Tennessee governor’s office and Volkswagen worked together suppress the United Auto Workers’ attempts to unionize a factory in Chattanooga.
The Green Reaper, a Grim Reaper colored green and holding a flower, is the Department of Energy’s National Security Technologies Energy Program’s idea of how to communicate “sustainability goals, successes and best practices,” including “energy awareness and recycling programs,” to the community, and to small children specifically. Why anyone thought this was a good idea is much harder question to answer.
Following a historic midterm election, two ballot measures in western states passed, granting each jurisdiction new laws governing transparency and access to records.
Ahead of tomorrow’s midterm elections, voters in Nevada and San Francisco, California prepare to decide on the future of their government’s power over open access. If you’re voting in either location, make sure you’re knowledgeable on the potential impacts on transparency effects these two ballot measures could have.
FOIA law governs access to public records at the Federal level, but each state mandates their own public records policies. Navigating the ambiguities in these state laws can prove cumbersome and frustrating to requesters - we’ve identified particularly irksome examples, and offer tips on what you can do about them.