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Thursday, February 26, 2009

N.M. on route to accepting FOI requests electronically

Although some states already fill requests sent via electronic methods, the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act currently "requires response to 'oral' and 'written' requests for public records," the New Mexico Independent reported. The bill now moves to the House Judiciary Committee.

A bill that would require government agencies in New Mexico to accept requests for public records via e-mail and fax cleared its first hurdle on Tuesday.

House Bill 598, sponsored by state Rep. Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, was given a do-pass recommendation by the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee on a vote of 6-1, with only state Rep. Zachary Cook, R-Ruidoso, voting against it.

“The citizens in our state should have ready access to government documents without artificial barriers,” Cervantes said following Tuesday’s vote. “E-mail is an integral and accepted means of communication, and no less so than a mailed letter or postcard.”

More here.

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