The 2021 Colorado legislative session produced a mixed bag of good and not-so-good developments for those concerned about government transparency.
Rep. Chris Kennedy
Worried about “reducing transparency” in rural Colorado communities that still lack broadband, Gov. John Hickenlooper vetoed a bill that would have phased out the required publication of certain county financial information in newspapers.
State lawmakers took another step toward phasing out the required publication of county public notices in Colorado newspapers.
By mandating that searchable digital records must be provided in a searchable format and sortable digital records must be produced in a sortable digital form, Colorado joins some 15 other states whose open records laws so require. This huge advance in government transparency certainly deserves celebration.
Ending what Sen. John Kefalas called “the most incredible journey,” Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill that modernizes the Colorado Open Records Act by clarifying the public’s right to copies of digital public records.
An 18-month push to update Colorado’s open-records law for the digital age culminated in the final passage of a bill that clarifies the public’s right to copies of electronic government records in useful file formats that permit analysis of information in those records.