The Connecticut Foundation for Open Government (CFOG) is pleased to announce the creation of the Mitchell W. Pearlman Freedom of Information Award.

The award honors government officials, journalists or residents of Connecticut who had made significant efforts to foster transparency in government, disclose information vital to the public and ensure that citizens can see their government at work.

The award is named for Pearlman, the founding executive director of Connecticut’s FOI Commission, who is recognized as an international expert on government transparency, privacy and data protection, freedom of the press and administrative law. He has consulted with officials in over 20 nations and various U.S. states and Canadian provinces and has testified as an expert witness before the U.S. Congress.

Nominees can be local or state officials who have been champions of open access to public information or journalists or residents of the state who have used the state Freedom of Information Act to obtain government information and inform the public or their communities about government action.

Pearlman, of Glastonbury, was the first executive director of Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Commission and a name synonymous with open government and press freedom in the state.