MDOT charges $1 per page for records

The Mississippi Department of Transportation recently charged the Sun Herald nearly $1 a page for travel-expense reports for four state highway officials, compared with 25 cents a page for the same kind of records in 2008.
On March 12, the Sun Herald requested travel records for MDOT Executive Director Larry L. “Butch” Brown, Southern District Transportation Commissioner Wayne Brown, Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall and Northern District Transportation Commissioner Bill Minor from Sept. 30, 2008, through the date of the request.
The information is available to anyone under public-records law, which also allows government entities to bill citizens for costs they say are associated with producing the documents.
The newspaper was billed a total of $511.82 for the records, which included a 25 cent per page charge to copy the 538 pages. The total, officials said, also included paying a software consultant $250 to “develop a program” for identifying the records. There was also a $90.95 charge for a clerk to pull and copy the documents, and $36.37 for an auditor to review the records. MDOT said the auditor worked for an hour looking for missing receipts and documentation.

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