Posts Tagged ‘transparency’

The Latest on North Carolina Body-Worn Camera Legislation

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

The national debate about body-worn cameras continues as more law enforcement agencies adopt this powerful tool. As I’ve noted in a previous blog post here, this issue involves numerous competing issues, including safety, privacy, fairness, and transparency. Public expectations of transparency have often been frustrated by laws and policies that limit access to recordings. A […]

State and Local Government Financial Data Transparency Law

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

A provision in the state budget, Section 7.17 of S.L. 2015-241, set new transparency requirements related to certain financial data of state agencies, counties, municipalities, and local school administrative units. The law mandates full compliance by April 1, 2016. But what does it actually require? This post summarizes the new provisions and discusses what, if […]

How Public Are Law Enforcement Vehicle or Body Camera Videos? (Not Very, in North Carolina.)

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

[Update: Legislation clarifying the status of vehicle and body-worn camera recordings under the North Carolina public records law was enacted in July, 2016. The law is summarized in a blog post here.] “We may have reached the point where video technology is producing a full-fledged revolution in policing. That revolution has been crystalized, or at least […]

Privacy, Privatization, and Transparency: 2014 Public Records and Open Meetings Legislation

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Should private information in government hands be considered public record? What about information in the hands of private entities that are carrying out governmental functions? These two issues dominated legislative consideration of the public records and open meetings laws in the 2014 session of the General Assembly. They involve the delicate balance between the strong […]

Who Can Request Public Records?

Friday, May 10th, 2013

The United States Supreme Court recently upheld a provision in the state of Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which allows only Virginia citizens to request  public records under the act. The case is McBurney v. Young.  Could a North Carolina local government impose a similar limitation? The answer is “no”. Our statute provides access to “persons” […]

Accountability Requirements for Certain Entities that Receive Appropriations from Local Governments

Friday, September 7th, 2012

As discussed in a previous post, local governments have broad authority to appropriate monies to private entities (including nonprofits, corporations, associations, and individuals). The monies, however, must be expended by the private entities only on projects, services, or activities that the local government could have supported directly. In other words, if a municipality or county […]