Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Palin administration: transparency is a luxury few can afford!


Celtic Diva managed to trim the original bill of $65,000 to access information from the "hold me accountable" administration under Sarah Palin by requesting a lot less information ("freedom of" being a joke in this case).

The new price tag is still quite salty, over $5,500!

(Click on amounts for further details)

Linda will tell us how we can help her raise the money very soon.

I did some checking and found out that most companies and government agencies charge far less for the hours, manage to retrieve the information in a fraction of the time quoted by the state of Alaska and throw in the first 2 hours for nothing!

I obtained the following information from the National Security Archive website regarding federal agencies:

Other Requesters - Requesters who do not fit into any of the above categories. These requesters are persons who are not commercial, news media, scientific or educational requesters and are required to pay search costs for more than 2 hours and duplication costs for more than 100 pages.

Actual search, review and duplication fees vary by agency. Search/Review fees can be anywhere $8.00 to $45.00 per hour and duplication fees can be from $.10 to $.35 per page.

I had a look at how the states compare under the criteria devised by the Better Government Association and the National Freedom of Information Coalition. The results are interesting. Only two states manage to have worse scores than Alaska. (Click on table to enlarge)

The above table shows the worst scoring states. For full results covering all states, click here.
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12 comments:

sjk from the belly of the plane said...

You betcha we're transparent!

How much transparancy can YOU afford?

WV: surrol
surreal?

MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel said...

Remember, they offered Linda a discount if she'd buy the package including the non-deleted e-mails!

Dianne said...

That is utterly ridiculous!! It's called the FREEdom of Information Act. Not the Charge You Out the A$$ for No Information Act. What a joke.

basheert said...

See I KNEW we'd be one of the worst. The ONLY thing we don't have that is hideous and horrible is Sarah Palin.

Arizona is WEIRD - beautiful but WEIRD politically. Having grown up in the N.W., this is truly a desert however we are changing.

But we are NOT transparent with anything. We have a legislature called "The 90 Dwarfs" -

We have poisonous snakes, lizards, Crazy Joe the Sheriff, appalling heat, sun every day, we use gravel as lawns - our claim to fame is the Gunfight at the OK Corral!

But we don't have anything as awful as Sarah.

Anonymous said...

It's Hypocrisy, but by now we know that hypocrisy is the hallmark of the Palin administration.
I wonder if a lawsuit would be an appropriate means to and end here?
I am happy to make a financial contribution to support whatever means is determined to be necessary.
Truth to Power, thanks for your due diligence Regina, your doing an awesome job of shining light on the Darkness that is Sarah.

Kyra said...

If Linda and/or others could somehow find out how much others have or have not paid for documents, then there's another ethics case and/or lawsuit. In fact, I wonder what an attorney (ACLU anyone?) would say about a state by state comparison of charges? Wouldn't this begin to look like cover-up? conspiracy to commit fraud? something? Since ACLU only takes constitutional cases, and there's some civil rights issues going on here (IMO), I'm curious what their take on this would be. just sayin'

I've tried to register on her site before to comment but somehow my browser doesn't work there.

regina said...

Kyra,

The others wouldn't have paid for any e-mails because they're journalists...

If only there were some serious investigative journalists in Alaska! They would have free access to information under FOIA, but the only ones out there are the type that worship at Sarah's altar...

Regina

Anonymous said...

Dennis Zaki of the Alaska Report does freelance work for CNN....it's a thought anyhow.

Kyra said...

If the searches were made, however, for anyone (journalists or not), then how can they justify charging for them? Isn't the information already collected? The point of charging a (fair and reasonable) fee is to recoup costs.

The person who wrote the letter defining the process expects that Linda doesn't know anything about computer searches. The person she gave it to to review does. They're trying to make her go away. The process may be time consuming, but not in people time and it doesn't need to be done by person, email, etc., unless they're still using a system set up in 1986 or so. Probably any one of us could go up there and write a few batch files and simplify the whole process. Obviously they were able to find the information for ADN fairly easily, so they're just blowing smoke at Linda hoping that she'll give up.

The other point, is that even if you added in loading rates (benefits) usually figured at roughly 27% - 28% of salary, I'm trying to figure out how they could justify $65,000. That's more than the annual salary of just about any state employee below the level of administrative exempt staff in just about any state you want to name. It really is going to take a year's time? I don't think so.

sjk from the belly of the plane said...

now that they know what she wants, much will be classified or redacted....Just sayin'....

Helen said...

Ha Ha Basheert - your Joe the Sheriff is pretty awful, but I heard him actually talk intelligently about illegal immigrants once, blaming the business owners that offered them jobs...in a Lady and The Tiger situation, I'd take Joe the Sheriff any day over Sarah Palin! But then I'd take a scorpion over her too, I guess.

Helen said...

Forgot to add this -

Someone in comments said to Linda, that she might be better off hiring a lawyer for the $5,000 to fight the fraud of how they are handling this. I think its a good idea.

1. It would put nationwide publicity on the matter
2. I don't trust that they are going to hand over the info even if she does pay up - they slime their way out of it, up the fees, whatever

That said, I am happy to send in $10 for the fee and only 500 people need to do so.