Wednesday, December 18, 2013

SF Mayor Ends Maintaining a Public Records Requests' Log?

(All of the requests made to the mayor for public documents until the end of April. Source: Mayor's Office of Communications.)

Last week, I filed an immediate disclosure request for all public records requests made to San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee's office and two offices under his control. After a few emails exchanges with his staffer responsible for such request, Kirsten Macaulay, she provided me the log for about three months of requests earlier this year and this explanation:

Please find a public records request log for the dates of January 13 through April 26, 2013. There is no log for the remainder of the year. The Mayor’s Communications Office receives and responds to requests sent to other Mayor Offices including the front Mayor's Office, the Office of Public Policy and Finance, and the Office of Legislative and Government Affairs. 

As you can see from the log for just part of 2013, the Mayor’s Office receives many public records requests. It will therefore require staff to spend a significant amount of time to collect and appropriately examine the voluminous amount of separate and distinct records that are responsive to your request.

A couple of points. No details are provided as to why a log was kept and has been abandoned after April and I've asked why the log is not longer maintained as one record, there were only 24 requests (two from me) over nearly a three month period and this hardly qualifies as a voluminous amount.

Considering the mayor has so many contacts in with Tech Inc leaders and their firms, if he's having troubles maintaining a simply log of all public records requests made to his offices, and it is such a small number of them, the mayor should ask those leaders for advice how to solve this minor record-keeping problem.

The mayor's office has promised to provide me with all other responsive records by December 27. Stay tuned.

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