April: Record location fees invite abuses

It happens all the time. A member of the public or representative of the press will file a request under Wisconsin’s open records law, which applies to all state and local government entities. But instead of records, the requester gets a bill. “The city will require pre-payment in full before we begin fulfilling your request,” […]

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March 2021: Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council names ‘Opee’ winners

This year’s Openness in Government (Opee) Awards recognize Wisconsin’s largest newspaper for its dogged records-based coverage of the pandemic and its commitment to the cause of transparency in government, as well as a government agency that led the way in providing a maximum amount of information on COVID-19. Other winners include a municipal judge who […]

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July: Raise the bar on police transparency

Recently, the National Freedom of Information Coalition and the Brechner Center for Freedom of Information issued a statement calling for greater transparency and accountability from law enforcement. They were joined by more than 50 groups, including the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, Wisconsin Newspaper Association, and the Wisconsin Transparency Project. “Trust is a key element […]

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March: Opees recognize (mostly good) deeds

Every year brings forth new heroes and villains with regard to Wisconsin’s somewhat tattered tradition of open government. This year, it seems, we have had more heroes. In fact, in two categories for its annual Openness in Government Awards, or Opees, the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council was unable to settle on only a single […]

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October: Evers can do better on openness

Early in his administration, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers was asked to produce a letter he’d gotten from departing Gov. Scott Walker, during the transition. He initially refused, claiming it was a “purely personal” communication outside of the reach of the state’s open records law. When the Associated Press asked me for comment, in my role […]

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March: Opee Awards recognize good acts and bad

Time and again, transparency advocates have seen that protecting Wisconsin’s traditions of open government depends on the courage and initiative of individuals. This year’s winners of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council ’s Openness Awards, or Opees, include two citizens, two journalists, one fired government worker and one small but gutsy Wisconsin newspaper. The council […]

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Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council names “Opee” winners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Bill Lueders (608) 669-4712 March 8, 2017 Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council names “Opee” winners Two citizens, two journalists, one fired government worker and one small but gutsy Wisconsin newspaper are among the recipients of the 2016-17 Openness Awards, or Opees, bestowed annually by the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council . […]

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