8 LONG TITLE
9 General Description:
10 This bill modifies provisions of the Government Records Access and Management Act.
11 Highlighted Provisions:
12 This bill:
13 ▸ provides that a governmental entity is not required to respond to a record request
14 from an individual who is confined in a correctional facility following conviction,
15 with an exception;
16 ▸ modifies the time a chief administrative officer has to make a decision on an appeal;
17 ▸ prohibits a court from remanding to the State Records Committee a petition for
18 review of a State Records Committee order; and
19 ▸ modifies qualifications of members of a political subdivision appeals board.
20 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
22 Other Special Clauses:
24 Utah Code Sections Affected:
26 63G-2-201, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2016, Chapter 410
27 63G-2-204, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2011, Chapter 340
28 63G-2-401, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2015, Chapter 335
29 63G-2-404, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2015, Chapter 335
30 63G-2-701, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2015, Chapter 335
32 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
33 Section 1. Section 63G-2-201 is amended to read:
34 63G-2-201. Right to inspect records and receive copies of records.
35 (1) Every person has the right to inspect a public record free of charge, and the right to
36 take a copy of a public record during normal working hours, subject to Sections 63G-2-203 and
38 (2) A record is public unless otherwise expressly provided by statute.
39 (3) The following records are not public:
40 (a) a record that is private, controlled, or protected under Sections 63G-2-302,
41 63G-2-303, 63G-2-304, and 63G-2-305; and
42 (b) a record to which access is restricted pursuant to court rule, another state statute,
43 federal statute, or federal regulation, including records for which access is governed or
44 restricted as a condition of participation in a state or federal program or for receiving state or
45 federal funds.
46 (4) Only a record specified in Section 63G-2-302, 63G-2-303, 63G-2-304, or
47 63G-2-305 may be classified private, controlled, or protected.
48 (5) (a) A governmental entity may not disclose a record that is private, controlled, or
49 protected to any person except as provided in Subsection (5)(b), Subsection (5)(c), Section
50 63G-2-202, 63G-2-206, or 63G-2-303.
51 (b) A governmental entity may disclose a record that is private under Subsection
52 63G-2-302(2) or protected under Section 63G-2-305 to persons other than those specified in
53 Section 63G-2-202 or 63G-2-206 if the head of a governmental entity, or a designee,
54 determines that:
55 (i) there is no interest in restricting access to the record; or
56 (ii) the interests favoring access are greater than or equal to the interest favoring
57 restriction of access.
58 (c) In addition to the disclosure under Subsection (5)(b), a governmental entity may
59 disclose a record that is protected under Subsection 63G-2-305(51) if:
60 (i) the head of the governmental entity, or a designee, determines that the disclosure:
61 (A) is mutually beneficial to:
62 (I) the subject of the record;
63 (II) the governmental entity; and
64 (III) the public; and
65 (B) serves a public purpose related to:
66 (I) public safety; or
67 (II) consumer protection; and
68 (ii) the person who receives the record from the governmental entity agrees not to use
69 or allow the use of the record for advertising or solicitation purposes.
70 (6) (a) The disclosure of a record to which access is governed or limited pursuant to
71 court rule, another state statute, federal statute, or federal regulation, including a record for
72 which access is governed or limited as a condition of participation in a state or federal program
73 or for receiving state or federal funds, is governed by the specific provisions of that statute,
74 rule, or regulation.
75 (b) This chapter applies to records described in Subsection (6)(a) insofar as this chapter
76 is not inconsistent with the statute, rule, or regulation.
77 (7) A governmental entity shall provide a person with a certified copy of a record if:
78 (a) the person requesting the record has a right to inspect it;
79 (b) the person identifies the record with reasonable specificity; and
80 (c) the person pays the lawful fees.
81 (8) (a) In response to a request, a governmental entity is not required to:
82 (i) create a record;
83 (ii) compile, format, manipulate, package, summarize, or tailor information;
84 (iii) provide a record in a particular format, medium, or program not currently
85 maintained by the governmental entity;
86 (iv) fulfill a person's records request if the request unreasonably duplicates prior
87 records requests from that person; or
88 (v) fill a person's records request if:
89 (A) the record requested is accessible in the identical physical form and content in a
90 public publication or product produced by the governmental entity receiving the request;
91 (B) the governmental entity provides the person requesting the record with the public
92 publication or product; and
93 (C) the governmental entity specifies where the record can be found in the public
94 publication or product.
95 (b) Upon request, a governmental entity may provide a record in a particular form
96 under Subsection (8)(a)(ii) or (iii) if:
97 (i) the governmental entity determines it is able to do so without unreasonably
98 interfering with the governmental entity's duties and responsibilities; and
99 (ii) the requester agrees to pay the governmental entity for providing the record in the
100 requested form in accordance with Section 63G-2-203.
101 (9) (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, and subject to Subsection
102 (9)(b), a governmental entity is not required to respond to, or provide a record in response to, a
103 record request if the request is submitted by or in behalf of an individual who is confined in a
104 jail or other correctional facility following the individual's conviction.
105 (b) Subsection (9)(a) does not apply to:
106 (i) the first five record requests submitted to the governmental entity by or in behalf of
107 an individual described in Subsection (9)(a) during any calendar year requesting only a record
108 that contains a specific reference to the individual; or
109 (ii) a record request that is submitted by an attorney of an individual described in
110 Subsection (9)(a).
112 of records to copy the records if:
113 (i) the records are contained in files that do not contain records that are exempt from
114 disclosure, or the records may be segregated to remove private, protected, or controlled
115 information from disclosure; and
116 (ii) the governmental entity provides reasonable safeguards to protect the public from
117 the potential for loss of a public record.
118 (b) [
119 entity may:
120 (i) provide the requester with the facilities for copying the requested records and
121 require that the requester make the copies; or
122 (ii) allow the requester to provide the requester's own copying facilities and personnel
123 to make the copies at the governmental entity's offices and waive the fees for copying the
126 offers the intellectual property right for sale or license may control by ordinance or policy the
127 duplication and distribution of the material based on terms the governmental entity considers to
128 be in the public interest.
129 (b) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit or impair the rights or protections
130 granted to the governmental entity under federal copyright or patent law as a result of its
131 ownership of the intellectual property right.
133 otherwise, in which a record is stored to deny, or unreasonably hinder the rights of a person to
134 inspect and receive a copy of a record under this chapter.
136 provide access to an electronic copy of a record in lieu of providing access to its paper
137 equivalent if:
138 (a) the person making the request requests or states a preference for an electronic copy;
139 (b) the governmental entity currently maintains the record in an electronic format that
140 is reproducible and may be provided without reformatting or conversion; and
141 (c) the electronic copy of the record:
142 (i) does not disclose other records that are exempt from disclosure; or
143 (ii) may be segregated to protect private, protected, or controlled information from
144 disclosure without the undue expenditure of public resources or funds.
146 Subsection 63G-2-302(2)(d), the governmental entity, State Records Committee, local appeals
147 board, or court shall consider and weigh:
148 (a) any personal privacy interests, including those in images, that would be affected by
149 disclosure of the records in question; and
150 (b) any public interests served by disclosure.
151 Section 2. Section 63G-2-204 is amended to read:
152 63G-2-204. Requests -- Time limit for response and extraordinary circumstances.
153 (1) A person making a request for a record shall furnish the governmental entity with a
154 written request containing:
155 (a) the person's name, mailing address, and daytime telephone number, if available;
157 (b) a description of the record requested that identifies the record with reasonable
159 (2) (a) Subject to Subsection (2)(b), a person making a request for a record shall submit
160 the request to the governmental entity that prepares, owns, or retains the record.
161 (b) In response to a request for a record, a governmental entity may not provide a
162 record that it has received under Section 63G-2-206 as a shared record if the record was shared
163 for the purpose of auditing, if the governmental entity is authorized by state statute to conduct
164 an audit.
165 (c) If a governmental entity is prohibited from providing a record under Subsection
166 (2)(b), it shall:
167 (i) deny the records request; and
168 (ii) inform the person making the request that records requests must be submitted to the
169 governmental entity that prepares, owns, or retains the record.
170 (d) A governmental entity may make rules in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3,
171 Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, specifying where and to whom requests for access shall
172 be directed.
173 (3) After receiving a request for a record, a governmental entity shall:
174 (a) review each request that seeks an expedited response and notify, within five
175 business days after receiving the request, each requester that has not demonstrated that their
176 record request benefits the public rather than the person that their response will not be
177 expedited; and
178 (b) as soon as reasonably possible, but no later than 10 business days after receiving a
179 written request, or five business days after receiving a written request if the requester
180 demonstrates that expedited response to the record request benefits the public rather than the
182 (i) approve the request and provide a copy of the record;
183 (ii) deny the request in accordance with the procedures and requirements of Section
185 (iii) notify the requester that it does not maintain the record requested and provide, if
186 known, the name and address of the governmental entity that does maintain the record; or
187 (iv) notify the requester that because of one of the extraordinary circumstances listed in
188 Subsection (5), it cannot immediately approve or deny the request, and include with the notice:
189 (A) a description of the circumstances that constitute the extraordinary circumstances;
191 (B) the date when the records will be available, consistent with the requirements of
192 Subsection (6).
193 (4) Any person who requests a record to obtain information for a story or report for
194 publication or broadcast to the general public is presumed to be acting to benefit the public
195 rather than a person.
196 (5) The following circumstances constitute "extraordinary circumstances" that allow a
197 governmental entity to delay approval or denial by an additional period of time as specified in
198 Subsection (6) if the governmental entity determines that due to the extraordinary
199 circumstances it cannot respond within the time limits provided in Subsection (3):
200 (a) another governmental entity is using the record, in which case the originating
201 governmental entity shall promptly request that the governmental entity currently in possession
202 return the record;
203 (b) another governmental entity is using the record as part of an audit, and returning the
204 record before the completion of the audit would impair the conduct of the audit;
205 (c) (i) the request is for a voluminous quantity of records or a record series containing a
206 substantial number of records; or
207 (ii) the requester seeks a substantial number of records or records series in requests
208 filed within five working days of each other;
209 (d) the governmental entity is currently processing a large number of records requests;
210 (e) the request requires the governmental entity to review a large number of records to
211 locate the records requested;
212 (f) the decision to release a record involves legal issues that require the governmental
213 entity to seek legal counsel for the analysis of statutes, rules, ordinances, regulations, or case
215 (g) segregating information that the requester is entitled to inspect from information
216 that the requester is not entitled to inspect requires extensive editing; or
217 (h) segregating information that the requester is entitled to inspect from information
218 that the requester is not entitled to inspect requires computer programming.
219 (6) If one of the extraordinary circumstances listed in Subsection (5) precludes
220 approval or denial within the time specified in Subsection (3), the following time limits apply
221 to the extraordinary circumstances:
222 (a) for claims under Subsection (5)(a), the governmental entity currently in possession
223 of the record shall return the record to the originating entity within five business days of the
224 request for the return unless returning the record would impair the holder's work;
225 (b) for claims under Subsection (5)(b), the originating governmental entity shall notify
226 the requester when the record is available for inspection and copying;
227 (c) for claims under Subsections (5)(c), (d), and (e), the governmental entity shall:
228 (i) disclose the records that it has located which the requester is entitled to inspect;
229 (ii) provide the requester with an estimate of the amount of time it will take to finish
230 the work required to respond to the request;
231 (iii) complete the work and disclose those records that the requester is entitled to
232 inspect as soon as reasonably possible; and
233 (iv) for any person that does not establish a right to an expedited response as
234 authorized by Subsection (3), a governmental entity may choose to:
235 (A) require the person to provide for copying of the records as provided in Subsection
237 (B) treat a request for multiple records as separate record requests, and respond
238 sequentially to each request;
239 (d) for claims under Subsection (5)(f), the governmental entity shall either approve or
240 deny the request within five business days after the response time specified for the original
241 request has expired;
242 (e) for claims under Subsection (5)(g), the governmental entity shall fulfill the request
243 within 15 business days from the date of the original request; or
244 (f) for claims under Subsection (5)(h), the governmental entity shall complete its
245 programming and disclose the requested records as soon as reasonably possible.
246 (7) (a) If a request for access is submitted to an office of a governmental entity other
247 than that specified by rule in accordance with Subsection (2), the office shall promptly forward
248 the request to the appropriate office.
249 (b) If the request is forwarded promptly, the time limit for response begins when the
250 record is received by the office specified by rule.
251 (8) If the governmental entity fails to provide the requested records or issue a denial
252 within the specified time period, that failure is considered the equivalent of a determination
253 denying access to the record.
254 Section 3. Section 63G-2-401 is amended to read:
255 63G-2-401. Appeal to chief administrative officer -- Notice of the decision of the
257 (1) (a) A requester or interested party may appeal an access denial to the chief
258 administrative officer of the governmental entity by filing a notice of appeal with the chief
259 administrative officer within 30 days after:
260 (i) the governmental entity sends a notice of denial under Section 63G-2-205, if the
261 governmental entity denies a record request under Subsection 63G-2-205(1); or
262 (ii) the record request is considered denied under Subsection 63G-2-204(8), if that
263 subsection applies.
264 (b) If a governmental entity claims extraordinary circumstances and specifies the date
265 when the records will be available under Subsection 63G-2-204(3), and, if the requester
266 believes the extraordinary circumstances do not exist or that the date specified is unreasonable,
267 the requester may appeal the governmental entity's claim of extraordinary circumstances or date
268 for compliance to the chief administrative officer by filing a notice of appeal with the chief
269 administrative officer within 30 days after notification of a claim of extraordinary
270 circumstances by the governmental entity, despite the lack of a "determination" or its
271 equivalent under Subsection 63G-2-204(8).
272 (2) A notice of appeal shall contain:
273 (a) the name, mailing address, and daytime telephone number of the requester or
274 interested party; and
275 (b) the relief sought.
276 (3) The requester or interested party may file a short statement of facts, reasons, and
277 legal authority in support of the appeal.
278 (4) (a) If the appeal involves a record that is the subject of a business confidentiality
279 claim under Section 63G-2-309, the chief administrative officer shall:
280 (i) send notice of the appeal to the business confidentiality claimant within three
281 business days after receiving notice, except that if notice under this section must be given to
282 more than 35 persons, it shall be given as soon as reasonably possible; and
283 (ii) send notice of the business confidentiality claim and the schedule for the chief
284 administrative officer's determination to the requester or interested party within three business
285 days after receiving notice of the appeal.
286 (b) The business confidentiality claimant shall have seven business days after notice is
287 sent by the administrative officer to submit further support for the claim of business
289 (5) (a) The chief administrative officer shall make a decision on the appeal within:
290 (i) (A) 10 business days after the chief administrative officer's receipt of the notice of
291 appeal; or
292 (B) five business days after the chief administrative officer's receipt of the notice of
293 appeal, if the requester or interested party demonstrates that an expedited decision benefits the
294 public rather than the requester or interested party; or
295 (ii) 12 business days after the governmental entity sends the notice of appeal to a person
296 who submitted a claim of business confidentiality.
297 (b) (i) If the chief administrative officer fails to make a decision on an appeal of an
298 access denial within the time specified in Subsection (5)(a), the failure is the equivalent of a
299 decision affirming the access denial.
300 (ii) If the chief administrative officer fails to make a decision on an appeal under
301 Subsection (1)(b) within the time specified in Subsection (5)(a), the failure is the equivalent of
302 a decision affirming the claim of extraordinary circumstances or the reasonableness of the date
303 specified when the records will be available.
304 (c) The provisions of this section notwithstanding, the parties participating in the
305 proceeding may, by agreement, extend the time periods specified in this section.
306 (6) Except as provided in Section 63G-2-406, the chief administrative officer may,
307 upon consideration and weighing of the various interests and public policies pertinent to the
308 classification and disclosure or nondisclosure, order the disclosure of information properly
309 classified as private under Subsection 63G-2-302(2) or protected under Section 63G-2-305 if
310 the interests favoring access are greater than or equal to the interests favoring restriction of
312 (7) (a) The governmental entity shall send written notice of the chief administrative
313 officer's decision to all participants.
314 (b) If the chief administrative officer's decision is to affirm the access denial in whole
315 or in part, the notice under Subsection (7)(a) shall include:
316 (i) a statement that the requester or interested party has the right to appeal the decision,
317 as provided in Section 63G-2-402, to:
318 (A) the records committee or district court; or
319 (B) the local appeals board, if the governmental entity is a political subdivision and the
320 governmental entity has established a local appeals board;
321 (ii) the time limits for filing an appeal; and
322 (iii) the name and business address of:
323 (A) the executive secretary of the records committee; and
324 (B) the individual designated as the contact individual for the appeals board, if the
325 governmental entity is a political subdivision that has established an appeals board under
326 Subsection 63G-2-701(5)(c).
327 (8) A person aggrieved by a governmental entity's classification or designation
328 determination under this chapter, but who is not requesting access to the records, may appeal
329 that determination using the procedures provided in this section. If a nonrequester is the only
330 appellant, the procedures provided in this section shall apply, except that the decision on the
331 appeal shall be made within 30 days after receiving the notice of appeal.
332 (9) The duties of the chief administrative officer under this section may be delegated.
333 Section 4. Section 63G-2-404 is amended to read:
334 63G-2-404. Judicial review.
335 (1) (a) A petition for judicial review of an order or decision, as allowed under this part
336 or in Subsection 63G-2-701(6)(a)(ii), shall be filed no later than 30 days after the date of the
337 order or decision.
338 (b) The records committee is a necessary party to a petition for judicial review of a
339 records committee order.
340 (c) The executive secretary of the records committee shall be served with notice of a
341 petition for judicial review of a records committee order, in accordance with the Utah Rules of
342 Civil Procedure.
343 (2) A petition for judicial review is a complaint governed by the Utah Rules of Civil
344 Procedure and shall contain:
345 (a) the petitioner's name and mailing address;
346 (b) a copy of the records committee order from which the appeal is taken, if the
347 petitioner is seeking judicial review of an order of the records committee;
348 (c) the name and mailing address of the governmental entity that issued the initial
349 determination with a copy of that determination;
350 (d) a request for relief specifying the type and extent of relief requested; and
351 (e) a statement of the reasons why the petitioner is entitled to relief.
352 (3) If the appeal is based on the denial of access to a protected record based on a claim
353 of business confidentiality, the court shall allow the claimant of business confidentiality to
354 provide to the court the reasons for the claim of business confidentiality.
355 (4) All additional pleadings and proceedings in the district court are governed by the
356 Utah Rules of Civil Procedure.
357 (5) The district court may review the disputed records. The review shall be in camera.
358 (6) (a) The court shall:
360 review of a records committee order, allow introduction of evidence presented to the records
364 (b) In a court's review and decision of a petition seeking judicial review of a records
365 committee order, the court may not remand the petition to the records committee for any
366 additional proceedings.
367 (7) (a) Except as provided in Section 63G-2-406, the court may, upon consideration
368 and weighing of the various interests and public policies pertinent to the classification and
369 disclosure or nondisclosure, order the disclosure of information properly classified as private,
370 controlled, or protected if the interest favoring access is greater than or equal to the interest
371 favoring restriction of access.
372 (b) The court shall consider and, where appropriate, limit the requester's use and
373 further disclosure of the record in order to protect privacy interests in the case of private or
374 controlled records, business confidentiality interests in the case of records protected under
375 Subsections 63G-2-305(1) and (2), and privacy interests or the public interest in the case of
376 other protected records.
377 Section 5. Section 63G-2-701 is amended to read:
378 63G-2-701. Political subdivisions may adopt ordinances in compliance with
379 chapter -- Appeal process.
380 (1) As used in this section:
381 (a) "Access denial" means the same as that term is defined in Section 63G-2-400.5.
382 (b) "Interested party" means the same as that term is defined in Section 63G-2-400.5.
383 (c) "Requester" means the same as that term is defined in Section 63G-2-400.5.
384 (2) (a) Each political subdivision may adopt an ordinance or a policy applicable
385 throughout its jurisdiction relating to information practices including classification,
386 designation, access, denials, segregation, appeals, management, retention, and amendment of
388 (b) The ordinance or policy shall comply with the criteria set forth in this section.
389 (c) If any political subdivision does not adopt and maintain an ordinance or policy, then
390 that political subdivision is subject to this chapter.
391 (d) Notwithstanding the adoption of an ordinance or policy, each political subdivision
392 is subject to Part 1, General Provisions, Part 3, Classification, and Sections 63A-12-105,
393 63A-12-107, 63G-2-201, 63G-2-202, 63G-2-205, 63G-2-206, 63G-2-601, and 63G-2-602.
394 (e) Every ordinance, policy, or amendment to the ordinance or policy shall be filed
395 with the state archives no later than 30 days after its effective date.
396 (f) The political subdivision shall also report to the state archives all retention
397 schedules, and all designations and classifications applied to record series maintained by the
398 political subdivision.
399 (g) The report required by Subsection (2)(f) is notification to state archives of the
400 political subdivision's retention schedules, designations, and classifications. The report is not
401 subject to approval by state archives. If state archives determines that a different retention
402 schedule is needed for state purposes, state archives shall notify the political subdivision of the
403 state's retention schedule for the records and shall maintain the records if requested to do so
404 under Subsection 63A-12-105(2).
405 (3) Each ordinance or policy relating to information practices shall:
406 (a) provide standards for the classification and designation of the records of the
407 political subdivision as public, private, controlled, or protected in accordance with Part 3,
409 (b) require the classification of the records of the political subdivision in accordance
410 with those standards;
411 (c) provide guidelines for establishment of fees in accordance with Section 63G-2-203;
413 (d) provide standards for the management and retention of the records of the political
414 subdivision comparable to Section 63A-12-103.
415 (4) (a) Each ordinance or policy shall establish access criteria, procedures, and
416 response times for requests to inspect, obtain, or amend records of the political subdivision,
417 and time limits for appeals consistent with this chapter.
418 (b) In establishing response times for access requests and time limits for appeals, the
419 political subdivision may establish reasonable time frames different than those set out in
420 Section 63G-2-204 and Part 4, Appeals, if it determines that the resources of the political
421 subdivision are insufficient to meet the requirements of those sections.
422 (5) (a) A political subdivision shall establish an appeals process for persons aggrieved
423 by classification, designation, or access decisions.
424 (b) A political subdivision's appeals process shall include a process for a requester or
425 interested party to appeal an access denial to a person designated by the political subdivision as
426 the chief administrative officer for purposes of an appeal under Section 63G-2-401.
427 (c) (i) A political subdivision may establish an appeals board to decide an appeal of a
428 decision of the chief administrative officer affirming an access denial.
429 (ii) An appeals board established by a political subdivision shall be composed of three
431 (A) one of whom shall be an employee of the political subdivision; and
432 (B) two of whom shall be members of the public who are not employed by or officials
433 of a governmental entity, at least one of whom shall have professional experience with
434 requesting or managing records.
435 (iii) If a political subdivision establishes an appeals board, any appeal of a decision of a
436 chief administrative officer shall be made to the appeals board.
437 (iv) If a political subdivision does not establish an appeals board, the political
438 subdivision's appeals process shall provide for an appeal of a chief administrative officer's
439 decision to the records committee, as provided in Section 63G-2-403.
440 (6) (a) A political subdivision or requester may appeal an appeals board decision:
441 (i) to the records committee, as provided in Section 63G-2-403; or
442 (ii) by filing a petition for judicial review with the district court.
443 (b) The contents of a petition for judicial review under Subsection (6)(a)(ii) and the
444 conduct of the proceeding shall be in accordance with Sections 63G-2-402 and 63G-2-404.
445 (c) A person who appeals an appeals board decision to the records committee does not
446 lose or waive the right to seek judicial review of the decision of the records committee.
447 (7) Any political subdivision that adopts an ordinance or policy under Subsection (1)
448 shall forward to state archives a copy and summary description of the ordinance or policy.