Sen. Kefalas to look at expanding access to electronic data in CORA

From The Coloradoan (Fort Collins): State Sen. John Kefalas, D-Fort Collins, is looking at expanding Colorado open records law to include electronic records.

Kefalas said the legislative fix could be simple, provided the political will is there. The nascent proposal, as Kefalas described it at a Saturday coffee-with-constituents meeting, would make explicit that public records available in digital form must be delivered that way. No bill has been formally drafted yet.

“In the end, it’s about open government,” Kefalas said.

He said he learned about the issue in a column in the Coloradoan by Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition President Steven Zansberg that criticized Colorado State University over its handling of records. The Coloradoan requested a digital database of CSU employee names, salaries and raises this summer but was denied. CSU lawyers argued it meets open records law requirements by making those records available in hard-copy form at the Morgan Library. The physical record is 145 pages and covers more than 4,500 employees.

The issue kicked off with a CSU professor raising concerns that the formula used to set raises might systemically, if inadvertently, base pay on a faculty member’s gender. CSU has since created a committee to look at any potential gender-based pay inequities.

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