FOIA – Open Records Act news – the impact of Email
I came across this news below today and unfortunately it’s not new and will continue as long as organizations are allowed to not be held accountable.
The Email effect on the spirit of open records
While I respect the response of the MNPS it still undermines the spirit of Open Records. Yes, the response was broad but that’s the ultimate Catch-22. You can’t look for a record or email unless you know what you are looking for and sometimes there could be abnormalities that don’t come to light until you start reviewing every document. In my business I have seen thousands of examples where emails were requested by person then you find that others were cc’d on it, emails were forwarded on, etc. and the scope broadens to where all the emails need to be reviewed just to be sure.
The fact that all emails and documents were not turned over means that information could potentially be lost. I can’t accuse them of hiding information but in reading this it does ask more questions than provide answers.
A couple of ideas:
1) It would be too time consuming or expensive to produce all the information
2) All the information was not available, i.e. been deleted as part of a regular retention process.
3) Information was selectively deleted for …what reason ?
4) Why was the buried notice of the special board meeting conveniently buried ?
The fact that there was a history of having meetings unaccounted for does make one wonder what was discussed ?