The 2020 Foilies Awards: Recognizing the year’s worst in government transparency 

Page 11 of 19

The Unnecessary Fee Award

Horry County, South Carolina

Horry County, South Carolina, is the home of Myrtle Beach and its many dedicated beach-goers — and home to this year's most unnecessary FOIA fee. The Myrtle Beach Sun News sent out requests to a number of local towns and public entities inquiring about payments made on behalf of public agencies to settle lawsuits in the last five years. Many of the towns in Horry County emailed the responsive documents back for free; some charged less than $50, but the county itself asked for $75,500.

When asked why the records cost so much, the county was unable to provide an exact accounting. Although its $75,500 demand is not the most outrageous total to grace the Foilies, Horry County's response is award-worthy in light of how disproportionate it was compared to other agencies.

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