Counties Coordinate to Block Open Records

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On Monday, we (Treasure State Network – TSN) sent out follow-up Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests trying to break through the organized blocking of their records by almost every Montana County.

To give a little background, on May 6th TSN sent a FOIA request to all counties in Montana asking for a list of all contracts the government entity had with non-government entities over $1,000.  We asked for the identities of the contractors, values, contract purposes, award dates, and whether the contract was bid or no-bid.

Almost every county responded with remarkably similar letters.  The letters informed us that in order to get this simple information we would have to schedule a time to drive to every county office and copy the records available at a price of $.50 for the first page and $.25 for each subsequent page.

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