Gov. Rick Scott is again under fire for his public records policies, this time from freshman state Rep. Steve Perman, D-Boca Raton, who sent him a letter asking him to make records more accessible. Read it after the jump.
The Tallahasee Democrat editorial he mentions is behind a paywall, but is available free from Florida Today.
June 17, 2011
Dear Governor Scott,
I am writing to you in regards to recent reports about your administration’s policies concerning public records.
Recent news reports indicate individuals requesting public documents were charged burdensome ‘cost recovery’ fees. Additionally, these reports have suggested there have been significant delays from your office in responding to these public information requests.
As The Tallahassee Democrat noted in a recent editorial on the subject, “Reasonable fees have always been a part of the mix for any request that takes a while for an office to staff to fulfill. Yet digital technology is sophisticated enough to not need a lot of hand-holding by a staff of gubernatorial protectors.”
Florida’s constitution requires an open process so that citizens can examine how their government operates and their tax dollars are spent, as well as to learn how laws and policies are developed and implemented. These delays and burdensome fees hamper the people’s ability to keep a watchful eye on their government.
If these reports are true, I request your office implement new technologies and policies to make these records more accessible to the public.
Rep. Steve Perman, D.C.