Times FOIA Fund update

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By Denise Dunbar | [email protected]

During the first quarter of 2020, eight people donated a total of $975 to the Alexandria Times FOIA Fund. The Times made three FOIA requests of the City of Alexandria in the first quarter of 2020.

The first was made in early February for $407. It was a follow up request about Seminary Road and yielded two sets of documents. There have not yet been any stories published from this FOIA request.

The Times submitted a second FOIA request on March 2 and received the document on March 18 from the city attorney’s office. Because the requested document was readily available, the city did not charge the Times for this request. The Times is still investigating this topic.

The Times submitted a third FOIA request on March 13. We received the following message from a city law clerk on March 31: “We have been dealing with a lot of employee movement due to current Covid-19 situation. A lot of our offices are short staffed and it is taking them an increased amount of time to complete request. Please rest assured we are working our hardest to get you all of the records you are looking for and will provide you an update once we [hear] back from the responding department. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to reach out to me.”

Because the first request was made before we publicly announced the FOIA Fund, we did not use money from the Fund for this payment, so the full $975 remains available for future FOIA requests.

To donate to the Times FOIA Fund, please see https://bit.ly/2QXrasL.

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