ICOG’s Opposition to HB1523, Gov. Holcomb Must Veto

TL;DR: As a supporter of open government in the State of Indiana, we strongly encourage you to sign our petition urging Governor Eric Holcomb to veto HB1523. HB1523 has passed through both the House and the Senate. The Indiana General Assembly has taken steps to make government less open and insufficiently accountable on all levels […]

IndianaProSPJ: HB1523 goes against the idea of government serving the people

We wholeheartedly agree with the recently released statement by IndianaProSPJ: The Indiana Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists calls upon state lawmakers to reject House Bill 1523, a bill that would let state and local government agencies charge up to $20 per hour to fulfill requests for public records that take more than […]

Groth vs. (Governor) Pence Continues to Evolve

Nikki Kelly of Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette wrote a story about William Groth asking to have his case be sent back to trial court instead of appealing to the Indiana Supreme Court in light of the recent uncovering that then-Governor Mike Pence used a personal AOL.com e-mail for official government business. In Nikki’s article, Suit over emails takes […]

House Bill 1523

And the bill allowing search fees for public records requests is back and moving forward this session: HB 1523 Search fee for public records requests. Allows a state or local government agency (agency) to charge a maximum hourly fee for any records search that exceeds two hours. Prohibits, with certain exceptions, an agency from charging a […]

Opening Indiana’s Government: 2016 Governor’s Candidate Survey

In keeping with a tradition started in 2004, the Indiana Coalition for Open Government asked the three gubernatorial candidates this year to share their visions of government transparency via a brief survey about public access issues. The candidates, Libertarian Rex Bell, Democrat John Gregg and Republican Eric Holcomb, were provided with the survey on September 19 […]

Problems and opportunities: Electronic access in Indiana

As part of an observance of the Indiana Coalition for Open Government’s 20th year of advocating for public access, ICOG joined with its administrative partner, The Media School at Indiana University, to put together this report on the status of digital access at the local level in Indiana. A team of graduate student reporters from The Media School […]

Digital access less than ideal in Indiana

By Craig Lyons, Samim Arif and DeJuan Foster Want to contact the county sheriff’s office and find out what’s happening in your community? Are you curious if your local health department has received any food-borne illness complaints? Would you like to know what kind of deal the county has with a labor union? Good luck […]

Of search warrants and cell phone cameras

By DeJuan Foster and Samim Arif Have you ever used your cell phone to take a picture of a public record? Indiana’s Access to Public Records Act provides an option for members of the public to copy records on their own equipment. A team of Indiana University graduate students this spring put that option to […]

Hiding behind HIPAA

By Craig Lyons Residents in St. Joseph County can dine safely knowing that no one reported a single case of food-borne illness to the county the first four months of the year. But if there had been a complaint, the public would be able to see only part of the document. Carolyn Smith, food services […]

Public officials’ emails are public records

One of the key battlegrounds for public access to electronic records, in Indiana and around the country, involves email accounts of public officials. Journalists have found major revelations in officials’ emails, such as alleged misconduct by former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett. It is well established under Indiana law that official emails are […]