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Requesting Records in Vermont
HAVE YOU EVER requested public records from a state agency or local government in Vermont, such as the Vermont Department of Taxes, or a school board? What about related businesses or organizations that carry out government functions, like a regional planning commission? If so: How'd it go?

The Society of Professional Journalists' Freedom of Information Committee and the ACLU of Vermont are studying what it's like to request, receive, fight for, and/or be denied access to public records.

WE WANT TO HEAR FROM ANYONE AND EVERYONE who has tried to access state or local government information in Vermont — no matter the reason or outcome. We're gathering this information because we want to know if and how we can help make those experiences better.

YOUR RESPONSES ARE PRIVATE. We would love for you to include a way to get in touch, in case we have any questions — but you don't have to. WE ARE NOT requiring your name or email address, and we're not collecting your IP address. WE WILL gather and report aggregate statistics from this survey, and WE MAY do follow-up research to verify the details of a particular public records request you tell us about. To the extent that information about a request is publicly available through the office in question, WE MAY end up citing it. But WE WILL NOT identify you publicly without your permission.

YOUR RESPONSES ARE OPTIONAL. Only the first question, which asks if you agree to the terms of this survey, is required. The rest are designed to jog your memory. We hope you'll answer as many questions as you can as thoroughly as possible, because the more we know, the more we'll be able to help.

YOU CAN TAKE THIS SURVEY MORE THAN ONCE. Please do, in fact! We'd love for you to describe in detail each experience you've had requesting public records in Vermont. Or, you can summarize multiple experiences all at once.

QUESTIONS? Reach project organizer Hilary Niles at or call her at 802-798-2535. For encrypted communications options, see
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Did you really read and understand and agree to everything in that introduction? If not, direct your questions to Hilary Niles (contact information above) before completing this survey. *
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