FOI DAILY DOSE: iPhone mishap for Dept. of Labor and consolidation criticism in Conn.

The U.S. Department of Labor got slapped with a FOIA lawsuit over documents related to, of all possible things, an iPhone application.

DOL used taxpayer funds to develop an app called DOL-Timesheet that helps employees keep track of their hours worked so they aren’t underpaid.

But the app is faulty. Workers can lose up to 65 hours of work time each year using it.

Americans for Limited Government filed a lawsuit for information on costs and for the app – information the DOL has yet to disclose.

Connecticut is facing its own freedom of information dilemma. Gov. Dannel Malloy wants to create an all-encompassing watchdog agency that would consolidate the state’s Freedom of Information Commission and oversight departments such as the Judicial Review Council.

The new Office of Governmental Accountability would be an umbrella for all watchdog actions, but an editorial in the Hartford Courant argues that this could compromise ethical responsibilities of the Commission.

While agencies could share office space, their staffs should remain independent, according to the editorial. The Commission should especially be kept out of the merger because it keeps all government agencies in check – even other watchdog departments.

– Morgan Watkins

Morgan Watkins is SPJ’s summer Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information intern and a University of Florida student. Reach her by email ( or connect with her on Twitter (@morganwatkins26).


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