Some government entities in Colorado are delaying responses to public records requests because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the disruption of day-to-day transparency obligations so far doesn’t seem as severe here as in other parts of the country.
public records request
Rejecting the University of Colorado regents’ interpretation of the open records law as “linguistic gymnastics,” a Denver District Court judge ordered CU to produce the names and applications of six candidates interviewed for the president’s job that went to Mark Kennedy last year.
Did the state’s sunshine laws require the University of Colorado regents to publicly name more than one finalist for the president’s job and disclose their job applications?
News organizations in Colorado will soon get some extra legal firepower to fight wrongful denials of access to government records and proceedings.
A split screen might be the best way to think about government transparency in Colorado in 2019. On one side is the ground-breaking new state law that opens records on completed police internal affairs investigations. On the other is the trend among law enforcement agencies in our state to encrypt 100 percent of their scanner transmissions.
A major battle plays out daily in Colorado as some of our elected and appointed officials – all of whom took a solemn oath to serve all Coloradans – do everything possible to frustrate disclosing information belonging to the people. These fights involve access to records concerning public policies created with taxpayer dollars.
Government transparency laws are designed to make sure the government gives you what it’s obligated to give you, even if those documents may be embarrassing or may get someone fired. Recently though, government agencies have been using a new tool to keep documents a secret. That tool is money.
When a government agency wants $5,850 to fulfill a request made under the Colorado Open Records Act, is it effectively denying access to those records?
A Trinidad resident who runs a Facebook-based community news site is suing the Las Animas County coroner for wrongly denying his request for the autopsy report on a man whose decomposed body was found in an apartment in 2018.