When state Sen. John Cooke asked for email communications of the top official for the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission last fall, the agency’s response stunned him.
“There are no records responsive to your request,” the health department’s legal compliance director wrote. “Mike Silverstein ended employment with the Department prior to your request and his email and network accounts had already been deleted.”
The Colorado Open Records Act doesn’t provide any meaningful guidance about the retention of public records. Although the law directs records custodians to adopt a policy regarding the retention, archiving and destruction of records kept “in miniaturized or digital form,” it doesn’t outline any specifications for such a policy.
Read More | Colorado Independent
Maryland agencies lack consistent policies, struggle to comply with public records requests, surveys show
State agencies in Maryland are struggling to handle thousands of public records requests from reporters, attorneys and other members of the public and lack consistent policies for complying with the state disclosure law, according to a survey by the state’s public access ombudsman.
Several of the 23 cabinet-level agencies that responded to the survey said they lacked policies for retaining certain kinds of records that are covered by the Maryland Public Information Act, such as emails and text messages, and many said they need more training and resources to meet the law’s retention and timely disclosure mandates.
The agencies reported receiving nearly 10,000 requests in fiscal 2019. Those that tracked their responses reported disclosing records in more than half of the requests, but denying records in many others and often failing to respond to requests within the time frame prescribed by the law. Agencies that received a large volume of requests said they were overwhelmed by the associated workload — and warned against any expanded disclosure requirements without attached funding.
Read More | Baltimore Sun