Wednesday, September 17, 2008

State To OK More Fees For Open Records

A couple of headlines today claim the Voice of the Public was heeded regarding charging fees to access public records in Tennessee -- sounds like a win, doesn't it?

It isn't.

You will be charged for any requests for copies you seek according to "new statewide guidelines." Costs range from 20 to 50 cents per copy.

And you'll also be charged additional fees on a by-the-hour basis if your requests takes more than two hours to fill that request. Wanna bet how many hours that request of yours will take to fill? Two hours, minimum/ Probably more.

"It's better than nothing," said Frank Gibson of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government. Yeah and not getting a stick in the eye is better than getting a stick in the eye.

So maybe I need to adopt some new guidelines too - anytime a business or agency requests to see a copy of any of my IDs or any other of the various forms requested by officials -- you'll have to pay me a dollar just to see it. Want to make a copy of it? That will be $10. In a shrinking economy, the time you are making me spend to fill your request is time lost from valuable work.

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