Secretary of Transportation Christy A. Hall has announced changes in the agency’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) policy in an effort to make the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) more open and accessible to the public.
The changes are as follows:
SCDOT will not levy any charges for the research of information or retrieval and copying of documents that take less than two hours to complete.
· Any staff time required beyond two hours will be charged at a flat rate of $20 per hour.
· Duplication of the first 25 pages from a requested document will not incur any charges.
Secretary Hall points to a review of FOIA requests filed with SCDOT over the past 12 months. Hall said more than 3/4 of those requests made in the past year would not have incurred any charges under the new policy.
Hall has been reviewing the agency’s spectrum of policies since she was appointed acting secretary by Gov. Nikki Haley in the summer of 2015. Since the confirmation of her appointment a little over two months ago, Hall is moving forward with policy changes.
“One of our goals is to significantly improve the public’s access to SCDOT records and how taxpayers’ money is being spent. The changes in SCDOT’s FOIA policy are a step in that direction,” said Hall.
Hall noted that she has begun other initiatives to improve the efficiency and performance of SCDOT, both internally and in the delivery of completed road and bridge projects for the public.
The writer is a public information officer at the SCDOT.