Information Disparity: Local Governments Show Wide Variety in Access
WDET, with the help of two students from Wayne State University’s School of Information Sciences, analyzed the 129 local government websites in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties to see how accessible FOIA information is for anyone visiting those sites.
WDET used each of the eight e-file systems to request similar information, asking for the five previous FOIA requests made. Three municipalities – Canton, Lenox, and Shelby townships – e-mailed information to WDET for free, sometimes within hours of the request being made.
Canton is one of the eight metro Detroit communities where e-filing a FOIA request is available. Clerk Michael Siegrist says the ability to e-file from the township’s website is part of an effort to serve a wide audience.