In the 2019 session, the Utah Legislature updated the Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) and the Public Records Management Act (PRMA). Senator Wayne Harper, sponsored two bills (Senate bills 25 and 108) which contained the most significant changes.
With Senate bill 25, the Legislature created a new records management committee. This new committee will approve records retention schedules and make records management recommendations. The creation of the new committee separates oversight of records management from the records access appeals which the State Records Committee will continue to hear.
With Senate bill 208, the Legislature improved the process of requesting and providing access to records. The updated law limits a person’s right to inspect public records at government offices during business hours. This right does not apply when the governmental entity has already provided the records. It does not apply if the records that are available online. Also, the right to inspect does not apply when records are accessible only on a computer that also contains restricted information that cannot readily be segregated.
The updated law prohibits a single request from being submitted to multiple governmental entities. Also, a person making a request must provide a daytime phone number and may provide an email address if he is willing to receive email communication about the request.
In response to a records request, a governmental entity may not provide access to records received through record sharing. Instead, government must inform a requester of the governmental entity from which the shared record was received.
A more complete description of updates to GRAMA and PRMA is published on the Utah State Archives website. These updates go into effect today, May 14, 2019.