June 4, 2013
In the latest blow to the Obama administration’s claim to be the “openness administration,” word emerged today that the Department of Labor sought to charge a news organization more than $1 million for information.
According to the Associated Press, which reported today  on the widespread use by government officials of secret email accounts, Labor demanded that AP pay $1.03 million for costs the department said were involved in retrieving email addresses for political appointees.
According to the piece:
(The agency) said it needed to pull 2,236 computer backup tapes from its archives and pay 50 people to pore over old records. Those costs included three weeks to identify tapes and ship them to a vendor, and pay each person $2,500 for nearly a month’s work.
But under the department’s own FOIA rules – which it cited in its letter to the AP – it is prohibited from charging news organizations any costs except for photocopies after the first 100 pages. The department said it would take 14 weeks to find the emails if the AP had paid the money . . .