9/15/2011: Liz Denecke of the UO Public Records Office has agreed to waive the first $200 in fees for “public interest” records requests. This will include requests from the press, and new media such as UO Matters. The new policy should be announced at their website here shortly and it takes effect today.
This change was the result of talks between the PR Office and the Senate Transparency Committee on improving transparency and trust at UO. The STC will meet 9/20 from 10:30-12:00 in room 410 PLC to discuss the details of how to best implement this improvement, and ways to further improve public records access at UO.
The Oregon DOJ, the DEQ, and now UO are the only state agencies I know of that have yet adopted this sensible fee waiver policy. I think this new policy will increase the quantity of public records demanded, and lower the cost to UO of providing them. In equilibrium, more transparency at a lower per unit price. The PRO will be able to spend much less time estimating costs and making cost-benefit calculations of the social good of releasing particular documents. I hope UO’s public records process will become a model for the state.