Communication Services Contract - Arkansas - 2018 (Union County Sheriff)

Beryl Lipton filed this request with the Union County Sheriff of Union County, AR.
Status
Rejected

Communications

From: Beryl Lipton

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, I hereby request the following records:

Contracts and invoices related to the use of communication services at any and all county correctional or detention facility locations under the jurisdiction of this agency. This may encompass telecommunication, kiosk, and mobile tablet services.

Please provide the following relevant materials.

• Any and all open or active Requests for Proposal or similar solicitations regarding the provision, installation, maintenance, or use of communication services. If available or applicable, please also provide equivalent materials for video conferencing equipment and other electronic communication and telecommunication services.

• Any and all active contracts regarding the provision, installation, maintenance, financial requirements, associated commissions, or use of communication services. Please include all associated supplemental materials, including any and all attachments, amendments, and exhibits. Please provide any other materials regarding the terms of service, including the term and expiration date of the current contract, as well as any optional contract extensions. Please include the name of the current telecommunication provider, as well as the services currently being provided pursuant to the agreement. Relevant companies include, but are not limited to, CenturyLink, City Tele Coin, ICSolutions, JPay, and Securus Technologies.

• Any and all financial reports, commission reports, revenue reports, and invoices related to the provision, installation, maintenance, or use of communication services. Please include all usage and fee reports, providing as much segregable data as possible, including, but not limited to, the rate at which the funds were generated, the revenue generated for each service, the timeframe during which the funds were generated, the nature of the communication's payment (collect, prepaid, inmate account), etc. If available, please also provide equivalent materials for video conferencing equipment and other electronic communication and telecommunication services.

Please provide all current contract materials and invoices for the period January 1, 2015 through the date this request is processed.

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 there are fees, 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 look forward to receiving your response to this request within 3 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Beryl Lipton

From: Union County Sheriff

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: Muckrock Staff

Hello Captain Mitcham,

Thank you very much for your time on the phone today, and I appreciate your response to my request despite the Arkansas provision that allows agencies to restrict their responses to just those requests submitted by residents of Arkansas.

My understanding of the situation is that your department's policy, regardless of the citizenship status of the requester, is to insist that the requester retrieve the materials in-person at your office, direction provided by Mark Whitmore of the Association of Arkansas Counties and Union County Sheriff Ricky Roberts. I believe this policy is contrary to the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act Law, § 25-19-105 of the Arkansas Code, which states, "A citizen may make a request to the custodian to inspect, copy, or receive copies of public records."

While I can respect the residency restriction included in the law, the necessity of retrieving the materials in-person appears to be in violation of the Act, and I hope your agency is able to rectify the illegality of the policy as soon as possible, as such inappropriate limitations hampers the spirit of transparency and accountability embodied by the law itself and is, indeed, detrimental to the democratic principles upon which the United States of America established its values of freedom and self-governance.

Thank you, again, for your time and help with this request, and I'll look forward to the improvements in your department's public records policies.

Best wishes,
Beryl Lipton

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