Colorado lawmakers use private emails for state business

From 9NEWS (Denver):  A 9Wants to Know review of email use among public officials reveals all 100 members of the Colorado General Assembly use private accounts to conduct state business.

The policy and practice has been in place for many years, giving each individual lawmaker full control of what emails will be released when their emails become the subject of records requests under the Colorado Open Records Act.

“It makes it difficult for a member of the public to request all emails on a particular topic that relate to public business,” attorney said Steve Zansberg, president of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition. “Any record that discusses public business, is public record regardless of where it’s located.”

9Wants to Know found the “” address used by some legislators is not an actual email account, but a way for the state to re-direct all incoming emails to a private account, like Gmail or AOL.

The state’s IT department does not archive and save any email generated by lawmakers nor does the state save any emails sent to their accounts.

n the past, 9Wants to Know has acquired emails of state employees and cabinet level appointees by requesting electronic records from state IT departments and public information officers.

From the Colorado Department of Transportation plow truck drivers, administrative assistants, office managers and other state employees who are not elected, typically their state emails are stored on a government server and are releasable through the Colorado Open Records Act.

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