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Monday, February 09, 2009

Utah bills threatens right to appeal for some records

Utah's open records law is in danger of being weakened as a bill to limit public access to records makes its way to the House floor, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. Individuals could not appeal decisions regarding requests for "records associated with law-enforcement proceedings, government audits and personnel matters." The bill would also protect "records associated with anticipated litigation."

A bill chipping away at public access to government records advanced to the House floor Monday -- despite strong opposition from the Utah Media Coalition.

HB122 -- sponsored by Rep. Douglas Aagard, R-Kaysville, at the request of the Attorney General's Office -- would remove avenues of appeal for records associated with law-enforcement proceedings, government audits and personnel matters.

It also would allow records associated with anticipated litigation -- lawsuits expected to come but not yet filed -- to be classified as protected, without any chance for the public or the media to appeal.

More here.

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