The Los Angeles Times last night published a mini-exposé on how the Los Angeles Fire Department has developed a staggering backlog of fire inspections, neglecting to check large apartment buildings, schools, churches, etc. In all, the department is behind on 6,800 buildings.

And to think, when the Los Angeles Times first went after the data, it was told no. Have a look at these graphs from the story itself:

The department initially declined The Times’ request under the state open records law for a list of buildings overdue for inspection. Officials said flaws in the LAFD’s computer databases made retrieving the addresses too difficult.
“There is no easy way to pull that data,” Vidovich said earlier this month.
However, two department sources told The Times the addresses were readily available through simple searches on LAFD computers. One source demonstrated for a reporter how swiftly the addresses could be found, and provided hundreds of them in a matter of minutes.
After The Times confronted officials with its findings, the department provided the addresses.

Mark it down as shameful and unsurprising, another instance in which the default position of government agencies is to deny the public information that it pays for.