2008-12-04 / Local & State

Pa. Open- Records Chief Objects To Redaction Fees

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Pennsylvania's open records chief wants Gov. Ed Rendell to reconsider a directive allowing state agencies to charge for retrieving documents and redacting information.

Terry Mutchler, director of the open records office, tells the Patriot News of Harrisburg that she's been talking with the Rendell administration about the fees.

Rendell's directive allows agencies under his control to charge "a reasonable fee'' for searching for and retrieving documents when the new open records law takes effect Jan. 1. His directive also allows agencies to charge for redacting nonpublic information.

Mutchler says allowing agencies to charge for the cost of labor opens the door for abuse.

But Rendell spokesman Chuck Ardo says the law allows for reasonable reimbursement for redaction and retrieval of records.

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