Feds ask group to pay almost $373,000 for records
By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department says a group that wants to see secret documents about the detention of people jailed after the Sept. 11 attacks first must pay nearly $373,000 to cover the cost of searching for the information.
And the advance payment won’t guarantee anything that’s found will be released.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, government agencies must provide the public with access to government documents, unless the information falls under certain exemptions. The first two hours of a search are free. Agencies then charge for searches, the rate dependent on the level of the employees who do the work.
People for the American Way Foundation, which sued for the records last year, accused the Justice Department of making the cost exceedingly high to deter its request.
“Unfortunately it’s part of a pattern of the Justice Department trying to foreclose access to this kind of information,” Elliot Mincberg, the group’s legal director, said yesterday.
More info at : http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/