This week in public records: new federal government site – New Hampshire – Michigan – Ohio – Wisconsin

UPDATE: The FirstGov site has changed its site name and URL to USA.gov. An added feature is Live Assistance, a real time Web chat service to find out about “federal agencies, programs, benefits, or services.”

The government Web portal for Georgia is announcing a name change for the federal government site Firstgov.gov, due January 11.

The official Web portal of the U.S. government is changing its name — to USA.gov. FirstGov.gov will become USA.gov and FirstGov en español.gov will become GobiernoUSA.gov.

The reason? “It is cumbersome to say and difficult to remember. On the other hand, “USA.gov” clearly describes the site.”

The New Hampshire Supreme Court has directed the state Attorney General to explain his reasoning that police investigatory files are not subject to the Right-To-Know law, New Hampshire’s public records act. [Thanks: MediaLaw]

The Michigan governor has signed into law a restriction on the release of statements given by law enforcement officers involved in internal affairs investigations.

AP reports that a new law allows Ohio reporters, but not the general public, to examine gun permits but not to copy them.

The Ohio Supreme Court decided that a publicly funded, privately run mental heath service is not subject to the public records law, even though it operates almost entirely on government funds.

Well, at least the Wisconsin Appeals Court recognizes that a government agency cannot hand off to a private company requests by the public for real property records.

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