GRAMA Legislative Updates 2018

Rosemary Cundiff Legislative Updates, Open Government

The 2018 Utah Legislature updated the Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA). These updates include additions to the list of items identified as not a record, specific additions to the list of protected records, and certain  procedural details.

Not a record

The Legislature modified the list of items that are not a record (Utah Code Section 63G-2-103(22)(b):

  • child pornography is not a record
  • a video or audio recording of the closed portion of an ethics commission meeting or hearing is not a record until the final disposition or decision.
  • The Political Activities of Public Entities Act prohibits a person from using a public entity email account to send messages for any political purpose, to advocate for or against a ballot proposition, or to solicit a campaign contribution. As amended, the law states that if a person does use a public entity’s email account for any of these purposes, then that email is a record subject to GRAMA.

Protected records

The Legislature made adjustments to the list of protected records (Utah Code Section 63G-2-305):

  • Work papers of Insurance Commission relating to examination of insurance companies for license enforcement purposes. (Utah Code Section 31A-2-204).
  • Audio and video recordings of emergency/critical events are protected records.
  • Records about a vulnerable adult that are made available to law enforcement or Adult Protective Services are protected.
  • In addition to transcripts and minutes, recordings of closed meetings are protected. This bill also amended the Open and Public Meetings Act to allow entities to remove the protected classification of their own closed meetings when interests favor access.
  • In addition to solicited bids and proposals, unsolicited proposals are protected records (305)(6).

Procedural changes

  • The Legislature determined that private voter registration information can be shared among governmental entities without complying with the sharing provisions in Utah Code Section 62G-2-206 if information is shared for a purpose related to voter registration or election administration. (Utah Code Section 63G-2-202(1)(b)).
  • If a governmental entity fails to comply with a State Records Committee order, notification of that failure is to be reported to the Governor. This change strikes out  other reporting possibilities (Utah Code Section 63G-2-402(15)(d)).