Michigan will now accept credit cards for FOIA requests

Gov. Whitmer takes step toward transparency in new directive accepting card payments for FOIA requests, even though her office is still immune

Mar 18, 2022 at 2:20 pm
click to enlarge Governor Gretchen Whitmer. - State of Michigan
State of Michigan
Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a new executive directive moving forward in her promises to address government transparency.

Effective immediately, departments for the State of Michigan are required to update their systems to accept credit card payments for Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

“This executive directive furthers transparency and openness in state government, making it easier for any Michigander to access department records,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer in a press release. “Effective immediately, all State of Michigan departments are required to begin modifying their systems to accept credit card payments for any fees associated with the production of records under FOIA. We will continue getting things done and ensure we make improvements whenever possible.”

While this is another step forward in the state's attempt to promote transparency in government, it is important to note that Michigan does not require the Governor's office to FOIA requests. Michigan's legislators are also excluded from FOIA requests, and in recent years, Michigan ranked last in government transparency.

Michigan's Attorny General Dana Nessel recently announced that her office will soon accept credit card payments for FOIA requests as well.

Credit card payments and lack of access to the governor's office aren't the only issues with Michigan's FOIA process.

Last summer, a local journalist was quoted $284,541.48 after submitting a request to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

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