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 […]

About the Indiana Access to Public Records Act

What can a person do when a public agency is suspected of violating Indiana’s laws on public records? First, it’s important to know what the law allows. Generally, Indiana’s Access to Public Records Act (APRA) provides that any person can inspect or copy public records during regular business hours of a public agency. If a […]

Video: ICOG, SPJ panel on digital transparency

Indiana Coalition for Open Government and the Indiana Professional Chapter of Society of Professional Journalists marked Sunshine Week 2015 with a symposium to discuss the state of open government data in Indiana. Titled “Digital Transparency in Government: What We Have and What We Need,” the discussion was held at IUPUI March 24, 2015. Panelists included […]

Please join us: ICOG, SPJ host Sunshine Week panel on open data

The Indiana Coalition for Open Government is pleased to join with the Indiana Professional Chapter of Society of Professional Journalists to host a symposium devoted to the issues surrounding open government data. The March 24 panel discussion draws from the ranks of policymakers, academics and journalists to explore “Digital Transparency in Government: What We Have […]

ICOG joins death certificate lawsuit; Supreme Court hears arguments in May

The state Supreme Court will hear arguments in Evansville Courier & Press vs. Vanderburgh County Health Department, a lawsuit over public access to death certificates in Indiana. ICOG joined the effort to bring the case to the Supreme Court last year after a trial court and and Indiana appellate court panel ruled that death certificates […]

Bright, bright sunshiny week

Apologies to Johnny Nash, but it’s Sunshine Week, and the song lyrics seem so apropos (and there are links to more sunshine-themed songs below). You can see clearly when the sun in shining, and that applies to the weather as well as to open government. Each year ICOG and other access advocacy organizations around the […]

ICOG signs on to Indiana free speech case

Can you strongly disparage a judge without fear of being arrested for your words? The answer is yes under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. But that didn’t stop a Cincinnati blogger from being convicted of intimidation two years ago after strenuously criticizing the judge in his Indiana divorce case. The blogger is Daniel […]

How to be a patriot on the Fourth

This Fourth of July, we at ICOG urge you to celebrate with all-American traditions such as charring meat over the grill, raining fireworks on your neighbor’s roof, joining in protests and filing FOIA requests. We’re serious about those last two items, and we have some specific ideas to get you started. First, remember the Fourth […]

INDOT tells employees to keep their opinions to themselves

Should public employees be allowed to speak their minds in public documents? We think so, but a recent directive by the Indiana Department of Transportation suggests otherwise. INDOT’s policy change drew criticism from ICOG President Gerry Lanosga, quoted in a piece by Associated Press reporter Tom LoBianco: Gerry Lanosga, president of the Indiana Coalition for […]