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Open the Books
Last Post 07/24/2017 05:05 PM by Lisa Hathaway. 13 Replies.
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Vicci TerVeer
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Posts:19

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07/24/2017 01:13 PM
    Has anyone received a FOIA from 'Open the Books' today requesting all vendor payments for 2016? This could take quite some time to get all the info together they are asking for. I'm wondering...we cannot divulge bank info, correct?

    Your thoughts?
    Brian Kelley
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    Posts:4

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    07/24/2017 01:34 PM
    Yes, we received one last week... We use BS&A Accounts Payable and they came up with an export that I ran and sent to the OTB people. I haven't heard that they didn't like the data This is the same group that gets all the payroll information they can, so they are presumably a known outfit. Pretty similar, I guess, to that SmartProcure outfit that FOIAs purchase order information every quarter - BS&A has the reports/exports for that too...

    Once I got the export loaded into my system, it went pretty quick to get the requested columns into an Excel document to e-mail to Open the Books...

    Sharon Tischler
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    Posts:2

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    07/24/2017 01:36 PM
    How about a monthly list of bills....unless they have asked for something specific.....S
    Vicci TerVeer
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    Posts:19

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    07/24/2017 01:46 PM
    Thank you! I will give BS&A a call!
    Lisa Hathaway
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    Posts:71

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    07/24/2017 01:49 PM
    Yes, I regularly receive these FOIAs from OTB. This information is FOIA'ble , it is not exempt information, and is easy to provide if you have BS&A. My accounts payable provides in no time.

    Lisa Hathaway
    Desiree LaDuke
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    Posts:4

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    07/24/2017 02:22 PM
    Did you use a specific report from BS&A or did they help you customize a report? Thanks!
    Lisa Hathaway
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    Posts:71

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    07/24/2017 02:31 PM
    It's through BS&A and done with a couple of clicks. They are happy to provide you wish directions.

    Lisa
    Dan Kasunic
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    Posts:16

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    07/24/2017 02:33 PM
    please note that municipalities are not required to create any reports. so in short you are allowed to send what you have and do a partial denial for any information that is not part of an existing report.
    Vicci TerVeer
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    Posts:19

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    07/24/2017 02:47 PM
    I contacted BSA and they are going to put a file together and then I will have to go thru some steps to download the file.
    Lisa Hathaway
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    Posts:71

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    07/24/2017 02:52 PM
    Once you become familiar with the process, it is very quick. So much less time, expense, and paperwork to the municipality to provide the information. You only need include what is being requested. :-)

    Lisa
    Jane Powell
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    Posts:2

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    07/24/2017 03:42 PM
    FOIA does not require a public body to create a new public record, compilation, summary, or report in order to respond to a FOIA request. See MCL 15.233. If you have to create a document, you may deny the request.
    Lee Ann Clausen
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    Posts:8

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    07/24/2017 04:25 PM
    I am glad you confirmed that a public body is not required to create a new record! I have denied their requests in the past due to not having a report already created.
    Julie Potts
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    Posts:5

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    07/24/2017 04:29 PM
    BS&A has an export in Accounts Payable called SmartProcure. You can export the information and send it to Open the Books. They will accept this format and it only takes about 30 seconds. Very easy.
    Lisa Hathaway
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    Posts:71

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    07/24/2017 05:05 PM
    Yes, it is understood that creating a record is not required. However, I have found it takes longer to provide the records that are required to be disclosed by providing hard copies, staff time, locating, and copies than it takes to whip it up in a spreadsheet. In the end, it saves staff time and is much, much easier to provide.

    Lisa Hathaway
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