Thursday, August 09, 2007

State Agencies Should Not Charge for Electronic FOIL Requests

The Times Union's Jordan Carleo-Evangelist writes that he received an invoice for his e-mail FOIL request to the Public Employment Relations Board for--get this--$1.

Carleo-Evangelist apparently requested a document via PERB's website and is being charged $1 for the pdf sent to him by a PERB staffer.

But according to the Executive Director of the state Committee on Open Government, FOILers using e-mail can only be charged if the document requested must be altered in some way--as Carleo-Evangelist puts it, "if PERB had to print out the document, redact information, copy the redacted version, then re-scan it in order to send the e-mail."

The document the TU writer received did not appear to be altered.

So what's up with this? Carleo-Evangelist writes that this was one of the fastest turn-around times he's experienced on a FOIL request, but this does not make up for the fact that the TU is being inappropriately charged. We'll keep our eyes peeled for more information on this topic.

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