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TRANSPARENCY TUESDAY: Federal appeals court puts a stop to the "FOIA death spiral"

(04/02/13 7:29pm)

For years, federal agencies have been freezing journalists in public-records purgatory with a maddening tactic: The "thanks for your request, we'll respond to it (someday)" letter. It's the bureaucratic equivalent of the spinning beach ball of death, and twice as frustrating. Getting the "non-response response" letter trapped the requester in a no-win predicament.

Relief for records requestors? Schools ordered to pay fines, attorney's fees in open records lawsuits

(09/20/13 5:29pm)

Violating state open records laws could actually cost you a lot of money, officials in Washington and Iowa have learned this month. First, the University of Washington was ordered last week to pay more than $720,000 in fines for withholding 12,000 pages of public records from a former professor who wanted to see whether she was wrongfully denied tenure at the University of Washington's Tacoma campus because of her gender or heritage.