Friday, April 19, 2013

Calendars: Gascon's = $34 v. Mirkarimi's = No-Cost 28-pages

Earlier this week, I filed Immediate Disclosure Requests with the District Attorney's Office and the Sheriff's Department for the agency head's calendar in electronic format.

The DA sent a one-page response, and this was the gist of it:

As such, a responsive record for District Attorney Gasc√≥n’s calendar will cover the period from April 17, 2011 to March 31, 2013. There is a 10 cents per page cost for this record for a total of $34.80.

I asked George Gascon's public information director Stephanie Ong Stillman why the DA wasn't providing me with electronic public records, she said:

The public records you seek are kept in a non electronic format comprising 348 pages. The nominal fee of $34.80 covers the cost of copies for 358 pages. 

Well I can't believe in this day and age that the San Francisco DA would keep calendars in non-electronic, hardcopy only format. I have to wonder whether that means they type his memos on a manual typewriter and only use snail mail to share the memos!

In my response to the DA, I asked that instead of hitting the Copy button on their multifunction copy/scan/fax machine, they hit Scan and create a PDF. This is what the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force has ruled is city policy, according to open government experts.

On the other hand, the Sheriff's Department simply complied with the request and shared a 28-age calendar for Ross Mirkarimi at no-cost, which you can view here:

Pursuant to your request I have enclosed copies of the Sheriffs calendar from
October 15, 2012, through March 31, 2013.

At the end the week, Mirkarimi without any hassle or attempt to charge copying costs produced 28-pages of his requested calendar, versus Gascon who puts a fee burden on this watchdog to obtain public records that should already be stored in electronic format.

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