F.C. Gets Low ‘Open Government’ Grade

January 16, 2013 7:24 PM3 comments

The Virginia Coalition for Open Government has given a sub par grade to the City of Falls Church for its compliance with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and related “sunshine law” open government practices. The City received a grade of B from the organization, trailing neighbors Fairfax City (A+), Fairfax County (A) and Arlington (B+). Falls Church has been criticized for adopting the practice of limiting the “noticing” of some public meetings to two posted announcements on bulletin boards at City Hall and ceasing its long-term practice of producing a regular “City Focus” publication delivered to all City households.




  • There’s a bit of irony in this small article. It is critical of the City for having poor openness – and specifically calls out the fact that the City no longer produces the City Focus publication. The article fails to acknowledge that the primary financial beneficiary of that publication was the Falls Church News Press.

  • If the “Focus” had been replaced with something equally accessible I would say the story is self-serving. It wasn’t, instead we got less transparency. I would say the Virginia Coalition for Open Government was generous giving the Little City a B.

  • Our survey measured accessibility of the budget for all 134 Virginia counties and independent cities. The full report is here: http://www.opengovva.org/about-the-coalition/1654-how-many-clicks-resource-page

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