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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

New Mexico Next on FOI Reform?

Attorney General Gary King plans to ask the Legislature next year to update a New Mexico sunshine law providing access to public records.

One change proposed by King will require governmental bodies to accept e-mail requests for documents under the Inspection of Public Records Act. Currently, the law is unclear whether e-mail are the same as a written request for public records, according to the attorney general's office.

"So what we're going to be working on is a total revamp of that part of the law so that it meets 21st century standards," King said in a recent interview with The Associated Press.

Last year, King's office issued an advisory opinion on the issue after New Mexico State University decided not to treat e-mail as a valid request for public records.

"I think that agencies, if they want to, can accept e-mail requests because you can print them out and turn them into a written request basically. But we just didn't think that the law required it," King said.

The attorney general's office and some other agencies accept e-mailed requests for public records.

More here.

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