National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

Editorial: High fees hold Tennessee public records access hostage

State law gives us a tool to hold our public servants accountable: the Tennessee Public Records Act.

Tennesseans have the fundamental right to explore what local and state governments are up to by simply requesting copies of an assortment of public records — everything from emails to investigative reports. 

But sadly, in Tennessee this valuable information has become expensive information. It's being held hostage by some who prefer, it seems, that the public butt out. There are repeated instances across the state where records requests made by media outlets and, more importantly, citizens, have been met with absurd invoices. Continue…