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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sunshine Week: TNT Study of Requests

The Tacoma News-Tribune writes this Sunshine Week story studying the public records process in Pierce and south King counties. Some interesting findings:
  • 97% of the time records are provided instead of withheld
  • records are provided in an average of two weeks

These numbers make sense given that the vast majority of requests are for routine police reports. But when the requestor is a political opponent or the records show misconduct, don't expect a two-week turn around 97% of the time. Expect the agency to delay and attempt to confuse and then, if pushed, say "If you want the records, you'll need to sue us. Good luck with that."