- I have responded to the cost estimates to the requests contained in the first 5 emails. These five emails contain PIA requests for complete emails and PIA requests email headers only for Friday August 26, 2011 to September 12, 2011; inclusive.
Including the 20% administrative burden, the cost estimates are:
- A onetime charge of $342.00 for programming to locate, extract, and export the requested email headers. This charge, once paid, would cover all future requests for email headers as well.
- For each of the 5 requests there is a charge of $1,962.00.00 for the 250 members of the staff to interrupt their day, search their email boxes for responsive emails, forward those responsive email to some centralized location for export.
- I have accepted the $342.00 charge for programming charge.
- I have appealed the $1,962.00.00 charge as excessive to the Cost Rules Administrator within the Office of the Attorney General of Texas.
- Because of a difficulty with a donation, I was not able to mail the check for $342.00 to the Office of the Governor of Texas by midnight of Monday, October 3, 2011. Because of this I have lost the opportunity to get the email headers requested by the public information act requests contained in the first three emails sent to the Office of the Governor. These requests cover email headers from August 26, 2011 to September 5, 2011; inclusive. The email headers provide an enumeration of who is talking to whom when and about what and there is nothing in an email header subject to exemption or redaction. As soon as I raise the $342.00 I will send the check and begin collecting and posting email headers
- The office of the AG has 45 business days to respond to my appeal of the costs. Because of this I have 45 business days to raise the money required to purchase the complete emails sent or received between August 26, 2011 and September 12, 2011. The worst case is that the price for the emails remains unchanged at $9,810.00 ($1,962.00 per request for 5 requests) for the two weeks of emails. the best case is the Office of the AG will order the Office of the Governor to use more efficient techniques such as programming to locate, extract, and export the complete emails which have been requested.
- An excellent development is that the Office of the Governor has failed to request any exemptions regarding the complete emails requested so far. The Texas Public Information Act is very clear. Under Section 552.301(a) the Office of the Governor must request a decision from the Office of the Attorney General if the Office of the Governor plans to withhold or redact any emails requested by these PIA requests. The Office of the Governor has failed to make such a request to the Office of the Attorney General so any emails which might be produced by these requests would be unexpurgated
- As of Tuesday, October 4, 2011 I have suspended the automated emails containing PIA requests for complete emails. I will continue to ask for email headers. This is because I do not have the means to pay for the $1,962.00 per request for complete emails. I cannot in good conscience request records I cannot pay for. Until the ruling from the Cost Rules Administrator states otherwise, the cost of $1,962.00 per request is beyond my ability to pay.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Status as of October 5, 2011
The status of the open records requests as of today, October 5, 2011.
Posted by John Washburn at 8:57 AM