Laura Streitfeld: UNC delays prevalent

March 19, 2013 

UNC delays prevalent

Dan Kane describes a familiar pattern in his March 10 article “UNC records can take months” on UNC taking months to produce public records.

UNC responded with similar delays and obstacles to requests from Preserve Rural Orange for records of controversial projects and expenditures.

In 2009, PRO asked for information about UNC’s airport plans in Orange County. The response arrived months after Chancellor Holden Thorp canceled airport plans under public pressure. In 2009 and 2012, PRO requested records detailing a $27 million campus expansion at the UNC Animal Research Facility. For copies or a look at documents, UNC required a $1,000 advance payment as well as a signed contract to pay costs that could be “as high as $5,000.”

Public records housed at UNC belong to the people of North Carolina. As a state entity, UNC is the custodian of our records and bound by law to respond promptly to requests. Timely access is vital to informed citizens playing a meaningful part in decisions affecting our communities. It is a disservice to our state to deny or delay access and charge exorbitant fees for information that belongs to all of us.

Laura Streitfeld

Executive Director, Preserve Rural Orange

Carrboro

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