Tuesday, May 27, 2008

$3,200 to obtain information from YOUR State Govt

Congrats, Tennessee citizens, YOUR State Government is now officially off limits.


“Opryland.” “Party.” “Prizes.” “Training.” “Teamweek.” And an eight-letter expletive for orgy.

Those are the words that Drew Johnson, executive director of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, focused on when asking for e-mails regarding “Team Week,” an August training session for Tennessee Department of Revenue employees. The training week for 380 employees costs about $140,700, according to the department’s full funding request.

Mr. Johnson was curious to find out just what goes on during that week. The expletive has been mentioned as a nickname employees have used to describe the week.

He asked to look at messages sent between Jan. 1 and April 30 from the department’s commissioner and six others.

Revenue officials gave Mr. Johnson a choice. Department employees could go through the e-mails themselves for free, or the state’s Office for Information Resources could do it at a cost of $3,201 for each day of correspondence, they said.