This may come as a surprise to Coloradans who have been quoted hundreds or thousands of dollars by cities, state agencies, school districts and other government entities for “research and retrieval” in response to their public records requests: Not every state allows such charges.
public records request
Not only is a $50-per-record research fee not authorized in CORA, the building department’s public records policy makes no mention of providing a free hour to requesters. That is an “unequivocal violation of CORA,” said Steve Zansberg, a First Amendment lawyer and president of the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition. The department’s justification for its research-and-retrieval fee is “simply lacking in any legal basis,” he added.
Allowing the University of Colorado regents to “engage in manipulative word-play and end-run” the Colorado Open Records Act by defining the term “finalist” to mean a sole “nominee” for the CU presidency would “deal a crippling blow” to the statute, argues a brief submitted to the Colorado Court of Appeals on Tuesday by the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition.
Boulder Beat has asked a judge to decide whether a Boulder City Council member’s personal email exchanges with two nonprofits are public records subject to disclosure under the Colorado Open Records Act.
An audit finds fault with the city of Denver’s process for complying with open records requests, calling it “not as accessible or transparent as other Colorado governments.”
Dan Caplis, an attorney and radio talk show host, is suing the state health department for failing to provide requested documents related to the coronavirus pandemic within the time frame specified in the Colorado Open Records Act.
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.
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.