Blog note, Transparency

Ethics commission changing CORA policy to comply with state law

On Monday, just after the Independent Ethics Commission (IEC) rendered its decision in the matter regarding Governor Hickenlooper, I was kicking around on the IEC’s website looking for some information.

I noticed they had a downloadable version of their Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) policy.  These always interest me because on the one hand, having a detailed policy can sometimes be helpful in streamlining the process of records requesting for citizens, but on the other hand, they sometimes include onerous provisions as well.

When I went through the CORA policy for the IEC, this stood out: “The fee for paper copies is $1.25 per page, and if staff must supervise the production of copies, printout, or photographs, an additional fee of $1.25 per page shall be charged.”


For the record, in 2007 a law was passed that limited photocopy charges to $.25 per page. Therefore, the charges listed by the ethics commission were, shall we say, unambiguously unethical.

Today, Rosemary Marshall with the IEC called me and said in a voicemail message, “Thank you for bringing this to our attention.  I think it is clear that a charge for production is permissible by law, but we will clarify what the law is, and that the law does anticipate an additional charge for production.”  To me this sounds an awful lot like, “Don’t expect to get any cheap CORA requests through our office any time soon, bub.”

Finally, if you missed it a couple of weeks ago, please check out this piece I wrote which explains in great detail why I think $.25 per page of photocopy costs are still 300-500% too high.

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