Written on: December 31st, 2013 in 10001 Declaration of Policy
The Complainant alleged challenged copying fees assessed by the City of Wilmington (the “City”) for copies of public records. Held: fees higher than those stated in the Freedom of Information Act may only be charged if they have been approved by formal legislative process, not by rules or regulations.
The Complainant alleged the Kent County Board of Elections (the “Board”) met without proper notice having been posted. The Board posted the notice and agenda for the meeting on the Kent County Department of Elections website, but not on the State of Delaware website as required. Held: the violation was not sufficiently substantial to warrant invalidation of the actions taken at the meeting, but the Board was admonished to fully comply with posting requirements in the future.
Written on: November 26th, 2013 in 10001 Declaration of Policy
OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE Attorney General Opinion No. 13-IB09 November 26, 2013 OPINION Questions Presented The Cash Management Policy Board (the “CMPB”) has asked this Office to render a formal opinion with regard to the following questions: 1. As between the Office of the State Treasurer (the “State Treasurer”) and […]
Written on: November 26th, 2013 in 10001 Declaration of Policy, 10002(l) (6) Exemptions - Records Exempted Per Statute or Common Law, 10002(l) (9) Exemptions - Pending or Potential Litigation
The Complainant alleged the Department of Correction (“DOC”) violated the Freedom of information Act (“FOIA”) by failing to produce calibration and maintenance records of “Alco-Sensors.” DOC withheld the records on the basis of a statutory provision that DOC policies and procedures were not subject to disclosure except on written authority of the Commission. Held: the documents were not specifically excluded from the definition of “public records” and must therefore be produced.
Written on: November 21st, 2013 in 10001 Declaration of Policy
The Complainant alleged the Department of Corrections (“DOC”) violated the “open records” provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) by refusing to release records concerning the purchase, acquisition, storage, and disposal of drugs used for lethal injections. Held: the requested records were not “trade secrets” exempt from disclosure.
Written on: November 20th, 2013 in 10001 Declaration of Policy, 10002(l) (1) Exemptions - Personnel, 10002(l) (6) Exemptions - Records Exempted Per Statute or Common Law
The Complainant alleged New Castle County violated the “open records” provision of the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) by refusing to release audio recordings of 911 calls made from the residence of Vice President Biden. Held: privacy interests under the U.S. Constitution and Delaware law outweighed whatever interest the public might have in disclosure of the recordings.
The Complainant asked for a determination whether a twenty-four member working group appointed by the Governor to provide recommendations regarding charter schools (the “Working Group”) was a “public body” subject to the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). Held: yes.
Written on: October 1st, 2013 in 10001 Declaration of Policy
The Complainant alleged violation by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (“DNREC”) of the “open meetings” provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) by not affording the public “adequate accommodations” in connection with a hearing before the Secretary of DNREC on an air quality permit. Held: DNREC is headed by a single officer (the Secretary) who, as a “body of one” is not subject to the same “open meeting” provisions as “public bodies” with more than one member. No FOIA violation occurred.
The Complainant alleged the City of Wilmington (the “City”) violated the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) by redacting from certain documents the names of persons who applied for, or were assigned to, the Mayor’s security detail. Held: the privacy rights of the security detail members and applicants outweighed an interest the public may have in their identities.
The Complainant alleged the Sussex County Council (the “Council”) violated the “open meetings” provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) by providing insufficient specificity in agenda items and by adding agenda items during its meetings. Held: if available, agendas must be posted with the meeting notice. If the agenda is amended or delayed, the public body must provide the reason for the delay.