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Thursday, December 03, 2009

Open Records Advocate Says He Knows How to Save the Government Billions

Open records advocate Carl Malamud obtained information through a FOIA request showing that the Department of Justice paid more than $4 million in 2009 and the IRS paid nearly $1 million in 2008 for access to the federal court's electronic filing system, which is composed entirely of documents in the public domain. Malamud says an open source repository of U.S. legal materials could save the government billions of dollars.

Malamud has filed 34 requests with federal agencies and is preparing to file another 100 to offices in the executive branch as part of his campaign to make court records available in bulk.

The federal courts search system known as Public Access to Court Electronic Records, or PACER, charges $.08 per page to look at federal court filings (excluding tax courts and the Supreme Court) and pulled in nearly $50 million in 2006. The system does not allow for bulk download.

For more information about Malamud's campaign, click here.

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