From The Daily Progress: A shift to electronic filing for financial disclosure forms for 25,000 state workers and elected officials means it could cost the public dramatically more to get the records.
Searching 2008 to 2011 disclosure records for 525 Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control employees, for example, cost The Daily Progress nothing. The price tag for accessing the same documents for 2012 would have been $1,200, according to state officials.
Last year’s shift to electronic filing leaves it to Patrick Mayfield, the sole employee and director of the state's Conflict of Interest Office, to download the forms one-by-one from a state server and then print them individually.
"The state's decision on how to manage their records should not create a cost passed on to consumers," said Megan Rhyne, executive director of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government. "Those documents exist so that people can see them."