More delays to open-records bill frustrate both sides

The Complete Colorado: What should be a simple case of government entities providing an easier format for already-allowed information under Colorado’s open records laws is becoming a muddied mess.

A news release went out Friday postponing a hearing on Senate Bill 17-40 before the Senate State, Veterans & Military Affairs committee for a second time this month.

The bill was scheduled to be heard Wednesday, but with legislators off Monday for President’s Day, the committee’s chairman, Sen. Ray Scott, (R-Grand Junction) said there was not enough time for both sides of the issue to sort out newly proposed amendments.

“They were still meeting with stake holders Friday, and we’re not going back until Tuesday,” Scott said by phone Saturday morning. “I’m trying to do my job. I could have just let the bill go forward and get killed. But I’m trying to give it a fair shot in committee.”

The bill would force government entities subject to the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) to supply databases in the format they are created in.

For example, if the salaries of teachers within a school district were requested, and the district maintained the record in an Excel spreadsheet, under current law, the school district could sort the information one way, convert it to a PDF and supply that as the record. While the document would contain the yearly salary of every teacher, if not sorted by last name it could be time consuming in a large district for the person who requested the information to list the information in that order. Under the new law, the district would have to supply the request in its original Excel format, allowing the information to be manipulated more easily.

Visit The Complete Colorado for more.

Subscribe to Our Blog