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>>>