News & Notes
Let the Sun Shine In: Maryland Public Access Ombudsman Program. 3/15/19
Proactive Disclosure Saves Time and Money, and It’s the Law. 1/28/19
PIA TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS: Maryland Insurance Administration – PIA Web-Portal 11/20/18
2018 Recommendations to the General Assembly. 11/1/18
PIA TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS: HCPSS – Transparency in Public Schools 09/26/18
PIA in the News
- Let the Sun Shine In: Maryland Public Access Ombudsman Program It’s sunshine week and the Ombudsman has some light to shed on Maryland’s Public Access Ombudsman program. On February 25, 2019, the Ombudsman’s office disseminated a stakeholder survey to nearly 950 people who have participated in either Ombudsman mediation or PIA training, or who have otherwise interacted with the Ombudsman’s office. The recipients included PIA ...
- Court takes hard look at agency’s use of blanket exemptions to deny PIA request, and awards statutory damages and legal fees to requestor PIA – Baltimore City Court Order
- OAG Testifies on Government Transparency Here is a link to a briefing before the Maryland House Health and Government Operations Committee on January 31, 2019 by Assistant Attorneys General Ann MacNeille and Jeffrey Hochstetler.
- Proactive Disclosure Saves Time and Money, and It’s the Law The central purpose of the Public Information Act (“PIA”) is to provide access to information about the affairs of government. To achieve this, the PIA requires agencies to disclose public records—that aren’t otherwise exempt—“with the least cost and least delay to the person or governmental unit that requests the inspection.” Md. Code, General Provisions Art. ...
- Records: City Performed 1 Corridor Inspection Since Collapse US News. January, 19, 2019
- Bill Seeks Independent Investigation Of Police-Involved Deaths Rockville Patch. 011619.
- ACLU seeks to reopen Salisbury MPIA case Maryland Daily Record. 010719
- PIA Technology Solutions: Maryland Insurance Administration’s PIA Web-Portal The Ombudsman’s Office has heard from various Maryland agencies that are interested in implementing technology to better manage PIA requests. These agencies state that they are committed to transparency and to identifying potential systems that can improve their PIA response. The Ombudsman’s Office is in the process of interviewing agencies that have already implemented such ...
- 2018 Recommendations to the General Assembly Each fall, the PIA Compliance Board (PIACB) submits a report to the General Assembly that includes information about its activities and recommendations for improvements to the Public Information Act (‘PIA”). In 2018, the PIACB submitted its third Annual Report, and for the second consecutive year invited the Public Access Ombudsman to provide a report on ...
- On Keeping Journalists Safe, and Public Documents Public Ombudsman participates in MDDC Press Association Panel Discussion. Jonathan Make. 10/23/18
- Judge rules Virginia’s judiciary not subject to FOIA FOIA in the news. The Roanoke Times. 10/22/18
- PIA Technology Solutions: HCPSS – Transparency in Public Schools The Ombudsman’s Office has heard from various Maryland agencies that are interested in implementing technology for managing PIA requests. These agencies state that they are committed to transparency and to identifying potential systems that can improve their PIA response. The Ombudsman’s Office is in the process of interviewing agencies that have already implemented PIA management ...
- Hagerstown declines to release body-camera footage in bail bondsman incident Herald-Mail Media. 9/7/18
- Court orders Salisbury to release police lawsuit records Delmarvanow.com. 8/22/18
- Privacy Beyond the Grave: Does the PIA Protect the Personnel Records of a Departed Employee? The Maryland Public Information Act (“PIA”) protects the confidentiality of personnel records. Md. Code Ann., General Provisions Article (“GP”), § 4-311(a) (2014, 2017 supp.). A personnel record includes “an application, a performance rating, or scholastic achievement information.” GP § 4-311(a). It also includes “those documents that directly pertain to employment and an employee’s ability to ...
- Maryland tightens access to sealed indictments — after leak to gang members in Anne Arundel Captital Gazette. 06/22/18
- Why Am I Being Charged? A Q&A Breakdown of Fees Agencies Charge for Maryland PIA Requests Maryland Public Information Act (PIA) fees are governed by section 4-206 of the PIA. An agency is allowed to charge a reasonable fee for the search for and preparation of requested records.
Q. What is a reasonable fee?
A. A “reasonable fee” is not a specific amount. Fees can range from $20 to thousands of dollars. ...
- MD high court weighs if MPIA requires disclosure of supervisor’s notes The Daily Record. 5/7/18
- Body camera footage after Det. Suiter’s death show Baltimore residents living under police watch The Baltimore Sun. 4/30/18
- New Maryland #MeToo Bill Sets Up Public Shaming and Restrictions BlankRome. 4/26/18
- Maryland needs to stop forcing foster children to pay for their own care Baltimore Sun. 4/2/18
- Innovative Approach to Case Management Aids Anne Arundel’s Compliance with the PIA Innovative Approach to Case Management Aids Anne Arundel’s Compliance with the PIA
Anne Arundel County, Maryland provides individuals a user-friendly process for making requests for County records. As an illustration, about one year ago, the County implemented a “Case Management” type system that provides individuals access to an online request form to make requests for County ...
- Consultant hired to watch for police body-camera misconduct Baltimore Brew. 3/27/18
- Baltimore to spend $6.8 million more on police body cameras The Baltimore Sun. 3/27/18
- Brew’s request for De Sousa’s Internal Affairs files denied Baltimore Brew. 3/22/18