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The cost of "freedom of information"

05-Sep-2012 [6016]

• The Toronto Star wants to follow up on the past 3 years of maintenance spending at the The Toronto District School Board. The keepers of our public records advise it will cost $ 3.6 million to provide the information...

An ongoing Star investigation has found sky high charges by trades council workers for small jobs, including almost $3,000 to install a simple electrical outlet in a school library. The Star has also reported on the close connections between the trades council, some trustees and provincial Liberal politicians. Workers are told to campaign for key politicians and risk losing their job if they refuse....see the Star

The Toronto District School Board wants $3.6 million from Torstar News Service before it releases a database of work orders showing what taxpayers have been charged for maintenance and construction projects at local schools.

In what appears to be the largest charge for public access in Canadian history, the TDSB has told Torstar News Service it will release some of the data, provided hefty fees are paid to find, prepare and “photocopy” the electronic database.

Torstar News Service’s ongoing investigation has already turned up high costs — almost $3,000 to install an electrical outlet, $143 to screw in a pencil sharpener, and other examples....

The Toronto District School Board is revising its $3.6 million estimate to provide data for a Torstar News Service investigation.

How much the fee will drop is unclear, but a top official said the board is committed to finding a way to release the information.

“I am confident we will find a solution,” TDSB director Chris Spence said Thursday....

Attachments to document: The cost of "freedom of information"