Emails of public officials are open for inspection under the Colorado Open Records Act, depending on their content. Such messages can reveal important insights into how government decisions are made, but using CORA to obtain emails can be a frustrating and sometimes futile exercise because records-retention policies tend to be vague and discretionary.
A bill to improve the management of government records by the Colorado State Archives won approval in a House committee. HB 16-1368 is an attempt “to deal with the digital revolution that’s happened over the past couple of decades and so move forward to save our documents.”
Whether emails are retained by governments in Colorado is “really sort of an honor system thing,” State Archivist George Orlowski told us. “The senders and recipients of emails have to decide whether there’s something important that needs to be preserved.”