52 hours to provide a list of county employees?

A requester in Maryland asked for a list of county employees with their salaries in an electronic format. Pretty simple. But the county responded saying it would charge $40 per hour for 52 hours of programming, or $2,000 (first two hours are free). That’s crazy! When this was posted on the FOI-listserv today many people offered suggestions for the reporter, including:

  • Write a story about why it takes so long for the agency to copy basic data.
  • Look at the FOI requests submitted to the agency (or a FOI log) for the past few years to see if someone else has asked for the same thing. The county might have given out the same information for free previously.
  • File a request for a breakdown of the specific calculations and documentations for that 52-hour estimate. If they actually had anything calculated it is likely unreasonable and inflated.

    One Response

    1. At least he didn’t get arrested in Arizona. They have some of the most severe penalties in the US. Read about the penalties enforced under Arizona DUI law, not too pretty.

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