JUNE 2014

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"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." 
First Amendment 
of U.S. Constitution


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Read about our annual awards for journalists, private citizens and First Amendment advocates

Visit KnowNewEngland.org to learn more about FOI and public records access

We welcome contributions to The NEFAC Report from journalists, lawyers, academics or other advocates of government transparency. If you have something to add to the conversation, please let us know. Your stories, experiences and commentaries have broad appeal and value.
Submissions can be emailed to: [email protected]
Conn.'s FOI Process Can Bring Change,
But You May Need to Fight for It

I've spent a good deal of time in the last two years on three cases I filed with the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission. The cases were against the state's Board of Pardons and Paroles, and demonstrate that you can change governmental practices through this appeals process - but you may have serious tussles along the way. [More]

Protective Agreement Limits 
Public Access to Vt. Pipeline Records

The Vermont Public Service Board, a quasi-judicial agency that oversees Vermont utilities, recently approved a protective order that will limit public access to records related to a controversial pipeline project in the state. A Vermont utility company leading the project requested the order. [More] 
When Secrets Flourish: The Aftermath 
of Document Shredding at Maine's CDC

In 2012, the deputy director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention told state employees to destroy public documents. She called them "working documents" and said she routinely got rid of such paperwork. She wanted to destroy these documents as "version control," concerned, she said, that people would get confused. [More] 
   Other New England FOI 
   and First Amendment News