Notable state FOIA requests, 2009

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Colorado

  • The Associated Press learned through a CORA request that the state's Department of Natural Resources understated the costs of a new oil and gas regulation program when legislative hearings where held on the proposed program in 2007. A February 2007 financial statement given to lawmakers during their deliberations estimated the cost of enforcing the new regulatory regime at $6,840. However, the Associated Press discovered that the agency had a "Plan A" outline of estimated costs for the program--which put the estimated cost of the new regulatory apparatus at $1.2 million for fiscal year 2007-2008.[1]

Georgia

  • The Savannah Morning News has asked the Georgia attorney general's office to intervene in a dispute with Chatham County police over public access to crime reports. The newspaper said the police department is violating the Georgia Open Records Act because it stopped providing the newspaper with copies of daily, accumulated incident reports for the public and reporters to inspect.[2]
  • Through a Georgia Open Records Act request, the Atlanta Journal Constitution learned that it will cost Georgia taxpayers $1,483,641.08 to pay Dennis Felton to not coach the Bulldogs’ basketball team.[3]

Michigan

  • A group of citizens sent a series of FOIA requests for electronic mail sent during Ann Arbor City Council meetings, looking into questions of Open Meetings Act violations associated with council members deliberating via email during the meetings. A lawsuit over a parking structure development prompted the activity.[4]. Over 2700 pages of email have been released to date from three years worth of meeting dates.[5]
  • Kathy Hoekstra of the Mackinac Center submitted a request to the Michigan Department of State Police regarding the state's handling of federal homeland security grant money. She was told that it would cost $6,876,303.90, with a downpayment of $3,438,151.95. Hoekstra's interest in the records was galvanized by a report from the Office of the Inspector General which, in the seven Michigan counties that were spot-checked, discovered a variety of problems, such as inadequate record-keeping, difficulty in locating emergency equipment, and a pervasive lack of required accountability systems.[6]

See also

References

  1. Associated Press, "Lawmakers: State withheld budget figure on energy," February 3, 2009
  2. Chatham Daily Report, "Ga. newspaper asks AG to mediate records dispute," January 7, 2009
  3. Atlanta Journal Constitution, "Dogs owe Felton $1,483,641," February 6, 2009
  4. "AnnArbor.com,""Downtown businesses, nonprofit agency suing city of Ann Arbor over parking garage project," August 12, 2009
  5. "AnnArbor.com," "More than 2,700 pages of Ann Arbor City Council e-mails available for viewing," November 5, 2009 (dead link)
  6. Mackinac Center, "What Price Information? Try $7 million," November 10, 2009