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Summary of auditor experiences

November 20, 2003

Real Estate Appraiser Complaints


Record Received: No

In a telephone conversation with an employee of the Department of Labor and Licensing, the auditor was told to send a PIA request to the Board of Real Estate Appraisers. More than a month passed before any response was received. After sending $5.75 to cover the cost of copies, as required by the agency, no records were ever sent to the auditor.

Latest Bay Bridge Inspection Report


Record Received: No

In a telephone conversation with the State Highway Administration, auditor quizzed about employment and told to send a PIA request. A week later, auditor was told "security" had to check to make sure the record was releasable. Multiple phone calls to the agency have produced no results, no record.

Teacher Certifications Revoked


Record Received: No

In a telephone call with the State Department of Education, auditor quizzed about employment and why he wanted the records. Auditor told information not available to the general public and simply wanting it "was not a good enough reason." Written PIA requested, and sent. Multiple phone calls to the agency have produced no record, no one willing to assist in obtaining it.

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Vehicle Emissions Test Report


Record Received: Yes

Auditor experienced problems getting into the Maryland Department of Environment office complex at 1600 Washington Blvd., Baltimore. Turned away twice by security. When admitted, personnel inside apologized profusely for the problem and went out of their way to assist auditor in obtaining the requested records.

Vendor Expense Report (Louis Goldstein Memorial)


Record Received: Yes

Auditor directed to Comptroller's office and, from there, sent to Department of General Services in Baltimore. After several contacts, auditor wrote out a PIA request for the public information officer and received the document two weeks later.

Hazardous Waste Spill - Emergency Response Team


Record Received: No

At the Department of the Environment headquarters, auditor encountered secretary who made several calls in order to find the right person to talk to. The PIA coordinator asked if the auditor wanted "all the records," and required a written PIA request, but later the auditor received a letter saying no records were located and there was no information available "in this area."

Complaints against Lottery Vendors


Record Received: No

Auditor visited state lottery offices asking for complaints against vendors in 2002. A written PIA request was required. Auditor received a written reply from the attorney general's office on Sept. 25 dated "August 21" saying the request was too broad to be filled. The answer came after the 30-day limit allowed by law.

Tribal Recognition Correspondence


Record Received: Yes

Auditor visited office in Crownsville and was quizzed about who she was and why she wanted the record. Written PIA request required. On Sept. 30 - past the 30 days allowed by law - auditor received two letters that agency says are the only correspondence received for the period asked for.

Lobbyist Disclosure Form - For Joseph Schwartz


Record Received: Yes

At the office of the State Ethics Commission, auditor was directed to a binder kept on a shelf with the desired records and received them immediately.

Vital records - Death Certificate **


** This record is available only to someone who is a relative or a "person of interest"

Record Received: Yes

Auditor, who was seeking the death certificate of a relative, retrieved the record in about 20 minutes from the state's Division of Vital Records, where the staff was helpful and professional.

Travel Expense Records


A. Dir. Of Md. Film Commission

B. Secretary, Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED)

Records Received: Yes

Auditor entered the office of Maryland Film Commission and was quizzed about who he was. After several contacts, the auditor was asked to make a written PIA request. Afterward, the auditor went to the office of the secretary of DBED and was again asked to make a written PIA request. The following week the auditor received some "sample" records and was told there would be a cost associated with duplicating all of them.

Log of Chauffeur Services for Public Officials


Record Received: No

Auditor was shuffled from Maryland State Police in Pikesville to Annapolis, to the Executive Protection Unit and was told by an officer, "We can't just give it out to just anybody for safety reason." The officer did not explain how giving out a log of past usage, already completed, represented a "safety" problem. The officer directed the auditor back to Pikesville and he was told to submit a request in writing. Auditor received several responses from multiple agencies, each saying they did not keep such records. He never got a response to his PIA from the State Police.

MOSH Reports (Three offices)


Records Received: Yes 1 of 3 times

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