National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

As Dewey Beach calculates labor costs to determine fees, Bethany Beach charges nothing

While Delawareans familiar with the state’s Freedom of Information Act rules may understand guidelines surrounding fees, some may still be surprised once they receive the bill following their request.

A batch of public records requests made to Delaware shore towns showed widely diverging approaches to how much, if at all, a community charges for access to documents.­

In Dewey Beach, Jim Dedes, assistant to the town manager, calculated the fee for a recent FOIA request from The Daily Times based on town staff’s cost of labor. He allowed one hour of free labor, but charged $15 per hour for two hours of his work. A police dispatcher and police clerk, who also worked on the records request, charged $9.85 per hour for three hours and $16.50 per hour for 3.75 hours, respectively. The total cost of the records amounted to $105.68. Continue>>>