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School District Takes Almost Two Months for Non-response to Public Records Request

The Alameda Unified School District has taken almost two months to provide a non-response to a public records request. (File Photo)

The Alameda Unified School District has taken almost two months to provide a non-response to a public records request. (File Photo)

On August 28th, in an attempt to understand apparent discrepancies between information released to different local news outlets by the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD), Action Alameda News made a lawful public records request for information. On October 17th, nearly two months later, school district officials responded saying the request is too broad to fulfill.

In August, to research AUSD’s apparently discriminatory practices in releasing information to local outlets, Action Alameda News requested “copies of all correspondence between AUSD representatives, including, but not limited to, agents, contractors, administrators, staff, employees, and representatives from the online publication The Alamedan…for the months of July and August, 2014.”

On September 4th, Susan Davis, senior manager, community affairs for the school district, wrote back, “I have conferred with staff here about your request. Due to its broad scope, we estimate it will take us until the middle of October to gather these emails.”

On October 17th, 50 days after the original request, Davis wrote again, “Based on our evaluation, we believe that we cannot respond to the request in its current form. Because the request seeks any communications to or from any District employee to unnamed people at the Alamedan, the District would need to individually search all 1,638 email accounts it maintains. According to Rob van Herk, AUSD’s director of technology, it would take about 200 hours for the District to attempt to cull the small fraction of responsive documents from the huge number of e-mails maintained in these accounts.”

Action Alameda News is currently evaluating the school district’s offer to narrow the records request to include correspondence between “five to eight AUSD employees” and The Alamedan.

1 comment to School District Takes Almost Two Months for Non-response to Public Records Request

  • Daniel Davenport

    Nice job action alameda. Transparency is the new public right. I appreciate all efforts to ensure this standard is maintained within Alameda. If discriminatory communications occurred this would be a topic for the community to discuss further.

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