Transparency Watch

Public records in Arlington County, Va., come at high price

The Arlington Gazette Packet reports that public records in Arlington come at a high price compared to neighboring areas in northern Virginia. Throughout Virginia, access to open records remains spotty. The State Integrity project, which ranks states based on their level of transparency, placed Virginia 47 and gave it a failing grade. Now, Michael Lee Pope reports, open government advocates are claiming Arlington's costly request system serve as an added barrier to public access.

"Want a booking photo in a high profile case? Get ready to hand over $24," Pope writes. "Want to see a copy of a report clearing officers who killed an unarmed teenager? That's $31.16. How about copies of all the Freedom of Information Act requests from a given year? The commander of Arlington County Internal Affairs estimates that will cost $573.25 for 10 hours of staff time."

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