New FOI Report Out! “Mediation Without Litigation”
Thu Sep 6, 2007 14:26

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: New FOI Report Out!
Date: Thu, 6 Sep 2007 13:24:49 -0500
From: Charles Davis daviscn@MISSOURI.EDU

The National Freedom of Information Coalition is happy to announce the latest edition of our FOI Reports, “Mediation Without Litigation” by Harry Hammitt, editor and publisher of “Access Reports” and a member of the board of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government.

We’re all aware of the obstacles one can face when trying to obtain information from government agencies. Even 40 years after passage of the FOIA, there exists “a frustration with the inability of many individuals and small organizations to press their case in the face of agency denials or delays.” In a system where courts are the final arbiter, the cost in terms of money and time required to litigate (when necessary) can be so daunting that requesters often are discouraged from making the effort.

In response, access advocates “are turning to state models for examples of how access to information disputes can be resolved short of litigation.” In this report, Mr. Hammitt “survey[s] the approaches taken by those states with both specific and informal dispute resolution as a way of better understanding what currently exists and what models might be adopted at both the federal level and for those states that currently do not have a mediation system of their own.”

The report can be found online at  . Two previous reports from Mr. Hammitt, “Federal Controls on State Information Disclosure” and “Privatization: Its Impact on Public Record Access” can be accessed from  .

We hope you enjoy them and find them as educational and edifying as we have.

Thanks for your time.

-- Charles N. Davis. Ph.D.
Executive Director, National Freedom of Information Coalition
Associate Professor, University of Missouri School of Journalism
179B Gannett Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
(573) 882-5736

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