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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Amendment X: Government Transparency in Michigan

Yesterday, we highlighted the fine work being done by the Show-Me Institute to open Missouri government to the public. Today, we look at the Mackinac Center's ongoing battle to shine a light on the hidden workings of Michigan's government. After been given a bill of almost $7 million for a FOIA request.
$6,876,303.90, to be exact. That's what the Michigan Department of State Police is charging for documents that I requested via the Freedom of Information Act regarding the state's handling of federal homeland security grant money from 2002 to present (see image at right). This is definitely a record for Mackinac Center FOIA requests. In fact, this may be a record for any FOIA request. Even the $3,438,151.95 down payment seems likely to be a speck above the average FOIA asking price.
The Michigan bureaucrats who are blocking public access to public records should be promptly removed from public service. Attempting to keep public data hidden away with the rouse of an unpayable price tag is obscene, and should not be tolerated by anyone claiming to value open government.

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