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Sat October 4, 2008
Bredesen on TN Open Government
By Todd Hatton
Murray, KY – Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen says he wants to reserve judgment on new rules setting up labor costs for records searches. Bredesen says he supports putting limits on free public records searches for excessive amounts of information. But he says he wasn't familiar with a decision this week by the Office of Open Records Counsel to allow records custodians to charge for searches that take longer than one hour. Dick Williams of Common Cause, a group that advocates for stronger ethics and open government laws, says the one-hour threshold could lead custodians to drag out even simple requests so they can collect labor costs. But Chad Jenkins of the Tennessee Municipal League says one hour will cover any routine request for public records and that people should have to pay for more complicated records searches that take longer to compile.