Looking for Records

amid covid-19 and civil unrest?

Open record advocates raise transparency concerns as the covid-19 pandemic and civil unrest continue to spread across the country.

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Legislation

House committee kills two Senate bills that would have required greater Virginia Parole Board transparency

In a party-line vote, the Virginia House of Delegates’ Courts of Justice Committee effectively killed two Senate bills that would have required greater transparency of decisions made by the Virginia Parole Board, which has come under intense scrutiny in recent months for the controversial release of convicted killers.

The committee first voted 12-6 to table a bill sponsored by Sen. David Suetterlein, R-Roanoke County, which would require the individual votes of the parole board to be a public record and subject to the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. The bill passed the Senate earlier [in Sept.] on a 29-10 bipartisan vote.

Read More | Richmond Times-Dispatch

Texas faculty association urges Governor Abbott to make college COVID info public

A state-level higher education faculty association is urging the [Texas] governor to force colleges and universities to report COVID-19 information.

The Texas Faculty Association (TFA) urged Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday [Sep. 22] to use his executive powers to make Texas colleges and universities report COVID-19 information including positive cases and deaths among faculty, students and staff.

[TFA President] Heintzelman noted that Texas school districts are required to report COVID infections on a weekly basis and she would like to see the same information released for public and private college campuses.

Read MoreTimes Record News 

Webinar: The 2020 Effect

How Public Safety Organizations are Actively Addressing the Changing Need for Transparency.

Wednesday, October 14@ 12 PM CT | 1 PM ET

Litigation

Judge rules Oklahoma citizens not entitled to receive public records by email

A Custer County judge says Oklahoma’s Open Records Act needs a legislative fix to account for modern communication styles, i.e. email.

Custer County District Judge Jill Weedon ruled this summer that the law does not entitle citizens to receive public records by email, upholding the county sheriff’s refusal to send a police report to a professor.

“Obviously, the [Open Records Act] is due a legislative update,” Weedon wrote in her July 23 order.

“The court … agrees that it would be more efficient to produce the requested documents electronically,” she said, “however [the act] does not require that the sheriff do so. The remedy … is in the Legislature, not the courts.”

Read More | The Oklahoman

Peer Resources

Using CARES Act Funding to Move Records Requests into the Cloud

Your agency’s open records, legal requests, complaints, and other information exchange responsibilities won’t go away just because your budget is shrinking.

Replace legacy systems with the telework-friendly GovQA enterprise productivity cloud solution using CARES Act funding (and proposed IT modernization act funding).

Read more to get funding sources defined and to learn where you can get funds.

Read More | GovQA

The Peers in Public Records Newsletter (formerly FOIA News) is a bi-monthly e-newsletter brought to you by GovQA. It is a collection of the latest trends in public record requests and government transparency initiatives, shared stories, informative case studies, and actionable knowledge that will help you calm the chaos and keep your organization compliant. Send your comments to peers@govqa.com.

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