Michigan government entities stymie FOIA requests to hide information

Submitted by LDieringer on Thu, 05/30/2013 - 12:35pm

From Michigan Capitol Confidential:  The Michigan Department of Education said the least expensive employee able to fulfill a specific Freedom of Information Act request has a total compensation of $116,917 a year.

In 2009, the Michigan State Police said in a FOIA response to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy that materials related to the spending of Homeland Security grants would cost $6.8 million.

Whether it's $337.26 for school district deficit elimination plans from the state department of education, or an outrageous FOIA bill of $6.8 million, reformers pushing for more government transparency find that costs can serve as an effective barrier to the release of information, particularly for materials that some other public institutions post free online.

That could all change if House Bill 4001 is passed and signed into law.