Editorial: SB 40 deserves legislature’s support to move records act into digital age

The Greeley Tribune: We’re a little disappointed we even have to say this.

It seems like a slam dunk that if a taxpayer-supported government entity has a public record in a digital format — such as a Microsoft Word or Excel document, or a PDF, to name a few examples — they should release the document in its natural electronic condition, instead of in a printed, hard-copy version.

It seems simple, right?

Well, apparently it isn’t. So the Colorado Legislature must introduce a bill requiring government entities to do just that whenever possible.

We hope the Colorado Legislature also passes the bill.

When public records are released in print formats, it makes it difficult to analyze the data electronically. It makes it a tougher job to analyze or understand the public records, and that lessens the benefits of the Colorado Open Records Act.

Senate Bill 40 is a simple solution. It makes records available to the public to be released in searchable electronic formats. The bill does not require the custodian to produce custom reports or perform specific programming to produce the record.

That seems reasonable to us.

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