|Submitted||May 8, 2015|
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to North Dakota Constitution, Article XI, Section 6, and the North Dakota Open Records Statute, N.D.C.C. § 44-04-18(1), I hereby request the following records:
- All communications between members of this office and employees or representatives of the American Legislative Exchange Council.
- All communications containing the keywords "ALEC" or "American Legislative Exchange Council".
- Any files or documents attached to the above communications.
The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.
In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I would request your response within ten (10) business days.
Attached is the response of this agency to your request for records.
Public Information Officer
ND OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL
Wayne Stenehjem, Attorney General
600 E. Boulevard Avenue | Dept. 125 | Bismarck, ND 58505
Hi Ms. Brocker,
I see that your office has come up with no responsive documents. Would you mind outlining how the search for documents was performed?
To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 8, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.
Thank you for your help.
A request for information is not a request for records. A public entity has no obligation to respond to requests for information, or to questions about its duties or functions. See: http://www.ag.nd.gov/Brochures/FactSheet/OR-OMGuide.pdf. Liz
Hello Ms. Brocker,
While you are technically correct that you aren't under a legal obligation to provide such information, I believe that it is in our mutual best interest that you do so. I have documents that indicate that ALEC regularly files documents with every attorney general's office in the country, so it seems highly unlikely that you would have no responsive documents. I would rather work with you to identify any problems in the search parameters than file a formal appeal, and I'm sure that an appeal would eat up more of your time as well. Can we find some middle ground here?
While you may have documents that indicate ALEC regularly sends items to every AG’s office, I cannot comment on what other states may have. It may help you to know that our agency’s record retention schedule provides that general correspondence/information sent to this office needs to be retained only until the action has been completed. If no action is required of this agency, then the mail item does not need to be retained and can be discarded. When we received your request, we initiated an agency wide record search.
You may not be aware that North Dakota does not follow FOIA – rather we have our own state Open Records laws (see: http://www.ag.nd.gov/Brochures/FactSheet/OR-OMGuide.pdf. Under ND law, an appeal of an alleged violation of the open records laws is filed with the Office of Attorney General. We have already explained that there are no records responsive to your request.
You might find it more useful to contact the North Dakota Legislative Council with your request for records. Liz