SALT LAKE CITY (AP) _ The Salt Lake Organizing Committee agreed Wednesday to release portions of a decade worth of notes that already are part of the Justice Department's criminal investigation.

The decision tested SLOC's willingness to disclose more of its internal workings in the wake of Salt Lake's vote-buying scandal.

A staff lawyer plans to edit sensitive portions of audit committee minutes before releasing the records, and officials said they expected no damaging information to emerge.

``I'd be real surprised to find anything in the audit committee notes,'' SLOC president Mitt Romney said. ``The audit committee is not where the action is.''

Committee auditors failed to document any of the extravagant spending on gifts for International Olympic Committee delegates and their families. Evidence of $1.2 million in scholarships, shopping sprees and cash was eventually uncovered by SLOC's ethics committee.

SLOC's management committee voted Wednesday to overrule the internal audit committee and release parts of its records to Stephen Pace, head of Utahns for Responsible Public Spending and a longtime critic of Salt Lake's plan to host the 2002 Winter Games.

Pace has asked news organizations to pay the estimated $375 fee for lawyers to read and black out parts of the notes.

``I'd prefer to see someone else pay for it,'' he said.

Also Wednesday, Romney said his budget shortfall has dropped to $148 million since another Olympic supplier signed on this week and with continuing spending cuts. Salt Lake plans to stage the biggest Winter Games in Olympic history on $1.323 billion, about half the amount Japan said it spent for the 1998 Nagano Games.

And SLOC officials said they were confident of getting up to $300 million in federal contributions for highway improvements, mass transit services, park-and-ride lots and other transportation projects for the games. So far, Congress and the Clinton administration have committed about $180 million to Utah that is not included in SLOC's budget.