FOIA This! — Digging Out Government Spending

Tracking down local government expenses is a recurrent theme for many successful freedom of information requests. Some recent examples suggest that quite a variety of information is potentially available — about credit card charges, salaries, retirement parties, and even costs of leak investigations. Have a great story you developed using a FOI/RTI request? Send it to us at freeinfo@email.gwu.edu. We’re currently looking for examples regarding immigration.

Exposing the Cost of Police Misconduct in Chicago

In researching Settling for Misconduct, a story on settlements and judgments of police misconduct, the Chicago Reporter had to account for details from hundreds of county and federal court filings, identify thousands of officers named in civil complaints, tally hundreds of millions of dollars in monetary awards and input all these data in a proper database. They also had to build a slick web app to present the data to the public. Here is how they did it.

FOI Laws A Global Success Story

All around the world, very real benefits result when legal tools are used to obtain government information. Because there are so many frustrations for those who seek information, it’s sometimes easy to overlook the positive benefits. Freedom of information (FOI) reform advocates need to document and celebrate the victories.