February 12, 2008
Define "prompt"

As you may recall, some of Governor Perry's emails have been released for public inspection, thanks to the ongoing work of open government activist John Washburn. But not all of them. The Observer blog reports.

Washburn said he received an estimated 1,900 documents out of a total of 5-6,000 -- meaning that Perry's office has asked that roughly 4,000 documents/emails be ruled exempt from open records requirements. The AG's office now has 45 business days to rule.

Problem is, the governor's office seemingly contacted the AG's office too late. According to Texas' open records law, state agencies have 10 business days after they receive a request for documents to ask the AG for a ruling.


However, Perry 's office is taking advantage of another, little-used section of open records law that monkeys with the definition of "received."

Under a rarely used provision, Perry's office asserts that it can consider the request "received" upon receipt of payment.

Nice little loophole, eh? If you make sure the upfront fees are sufficiently high, you'll never have to worry about fulfilling those requests in the first place. You have to admire the ingenuity, if nothing else.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 12, 2008 to Show Business for Ugly People
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