Author - Kathy Richardson
Search fee for public records
requests. Allows a state or local government agency (agency), with
certain exceptions, to charge a maximum hourly fee for any records
search that exceeds two hours. Prohibits, with certain exceptions, an
agency from charging a fee for providing a public record by electronic
mail. Provides that if a public record is in an electronic format, an
agency (excluding the office of the county recorder) shall provide an
electronic copy or a paper copy, at the option of the person making the
request for a public record. They can charge $20 an hour if the time to search exceeds two hours.
OK - here is my thoughts - all searches will last more than two hours form now on.
- When government wants to hide something that came up the search will last a lot of extra hours.
- Local governments will exploit this law to make sure that they can stop some one from doing a search.
-Government should be open and I have run into too many roadblocks trying
to find out what they are hiding. This is just another reason to
prevent the public from knowing what is going. All of a sudden all
searches will be hours and hours long.
_ The author is Kathy Richardson, in addition to being a State Representative for
District 29, she is the Elections Administrator for Hamilton County
so in other words she runs her own election. Maybe she is in fear that
open government will find something about how she runs for office and
how she holds these two jobs. This is being done to stop people from
finding out what is going on. Without a fee the people tasked to look
something up will do it fast, with a few they will drag it out to make
more money for their agency.
Some comments from others:
As an Indiana tax payer, I would like to see the financial proof that this is necessary. Rita McBride.
Public records should remain public! Beverly Bush
The records belong to the public and it is unreasonable to impose a viewing charge. Claudia Szymaszek
Why is it OK to charge a fee for a service I am already paying to much
for through my taxes. HMMM I wonder where the extra money would go. Or
is it to deter finding information. I wonder why we don't trust our
officials. Robert Davis
Public records should NOT cost taxpayers because they already own them! Steve Landis
House Bill 1523 is an obstruction and an affront to the peoples' right
to inspect public records of the government's goings on. The supporters
of this bill are not being honest about the intentions of this bill
which clearly are to keep information of governmental wrongdoing and
unethical conduct from the public. Brian Vukadinovich
Keep our government open for to see. Not just those with money. Dave Simcox
Adding an arbitrary fee to the collection of public records will
dramatically limit the public's ability to access records we have
already paid for through our taxes. Government and what it does is for
the people. Carrie Napoleon
We need more government transparency, not less. Rick Taylor
I fear that agencies will use the search fee as an opportunity to make
records inaccessible to the public. The search itself is not transparent
to the requester, who will have to rely on the government to be honest
about its search efforts. Defining "search" can be problematic. Does it
include compiling records, or truly locating them? There is a
difference. As a former public access counselor, I can attest to the
fact that the fees agencies charge for records is often a barrier to
obtaining information about the government. Karen Davis
Because citizens need affordable access to government business to keep our government accountable. Mike Conway
This is obviously designed to discourage access to public records. Under NO circumstances should this ever be signed into law! Gary Atkins
Open transparent government is a prerequisite for Democracy. This
under-handed restriction on access to public records is appalling. Robert Pedersen
Governmental transparency is vital to our democracy. Cindy Guy