You supervise a staff of three food inspectors who spend most of their time out of
the office. To facilitate note taking, the three food inspectors purchased their own portable
computers: one food inspector uses a laptop, the second uses a Blackberry, and the third uses a Palm
Pilot. When they complete a project in the field, they circulate the information directly from their
portable machines, sometimes using Instant Messaging (IM) software.
If a restaurant owner submitted a Public Records request for
information on the handling of his case, how would you go about assembling the necessary records? How
would you ensure that all the food inspectors' work product was also accessible from your office's
network or e-mail system? How would you respond if a food inspector refused to comply with the
request on the grounds that he owned the information on his machine because he had purchased it with
his own money?