Official: Oregon’s fees on public records requests too high


Ginger McCall is leaving her job Friday as public records advocate

In this Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019 photo, Ginger McCall, Oregon’s first public records advocate, poses for photos in her office in Salem. Faced with what she thought was undue interference and disrespect shown by Gov. Kate Brown’s general counsel, McCall whose job is aimed at making government more transparent resigned. Her resignation has blown up into a debacle for the Democratic governor’s office. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Oregon’s public records advocate says fees charged by the state and local governments for public records requests are high and wildly uneven, creating a barrier for journalists and citizens seeking documents.

Ginger McCall, who leaves her job Friday, said in a final report Wednesday that fees, sometimes reaching $180 per hour, are onerous compared to what the federal government and other states charge.

She recommended a less discretionary fee structure and low rates. She called for the Legislature and others to commit more resources to public records processing.

McCall announced her resignation in September, saying Gov. Kate Brown’s office wanted her to secretly work for the governor while giving the impression she was working in the public interest. Brown said she regrets the controversy and is committed to improving transparency.

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