Archive for the ‘GRAMA’ Category

A Clearly Unwarranted Invasion of Personal Privacy

May 5, 2017 Comments off

Utah State Archives notes that the American Library Association has created Choose Privacy Week, an “annual, week-long event that promotes the importance of individual privacy rights and celebrates libraries and librarians’’ unique role in protecting privacy in the library and in society as a whole.” Much has been said about the value of government transparency, however, personal privacy is also important. The Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) provides for both.

GRAMA provides that “a record is public unless otherwise expressly provided by statute” (Utah Code Subsection 63G-2-201(2)).  Then it includes lists of private records (Utah Code Section 63G-2-302). Other laws and rules identify and protect private information as well. Because all privacy issues cannot specifically be contemplated, GRAMA includes the provision that records are private if releasing them would be “a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy” (Utah Code Subsection 63G-2-302(2)(d)). This is an interpretive provision allowing governmental entities to withhold access to information not specifically identified, but which they deem should be restricted to protect an individual’s privacy.

Privacy means different things to different people and because this law is interpretive, it can have broad application. For example, the law has been applied to an individual’s utility usage (such as water or electricity) and to juvenile names and images. State Records Committee decisions upholding a governmental entity’s privacy classification based on this provision provide a flavor for some of the ways it can be applied.

  • In September 2015, the Salt Lake Tribune requested from Utah State University all records involving student disciplinary actions in cases involving violent or sexual crimes in which a student was sanctioned. Specifically, the Tribune requested the student’s name, the nature of the violation, the date it was committed, and the sanction issued. In response, Utah State University provided the requested information but withheld student names. On appeal, the State Records Committee determined that releasing the names of individuals who were disciplined for violation of university codes of conduct would be a clearly unwarranted invasion of their privacy (State Records Committee Case No. 16-05).
  • In the April 2017 case, Andrew Becker v. Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the Records Committee determined that the release of an unredacted video image from a police officer’s body camera showing the face of a passenger in a DUI stop would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. After hearing testimony and viewing the records in camera, Committee determined that the Sheriff’s Office had appropriately redacted the video and could recoup the editing costs. (State Records Committee Case No. 17-15).
  • In July 2013, Mr. Leishman, an inmate, requested information about the security clearances of another inmate that related to that inmate’s religious practices as observed by staff in the Wasatch Family History Center offices. UDC provided no records because provision, by implication, would identify the individual. The State Records Committee determined that the information contained in the requested records involved the religious practices of a prison inmate, and their release would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of his personal privacy (State Records Committee Case No. 13-05) .
  • In May 2012, Kurt Danysh requested crime scene photographs and other records relating to the murder of Susan Gall. The State Records Committee was persuaded that all photographs depicting the victim, the inside of the victim’s home, as well as photographs depicting the perpetrator unclothed should be classified as private because release would be a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy (State Records Committee Case No. 12-09).

See additional State Archives post about personal privacy.

A Portal to Sunshine

March 16, 2017 1 comment


Utah holds a distinguished reputation as the new Silicon Valley or, more fondly, is referred to as the Silicon Slopes. Thus, it is not surprising that in 2014 the Utah Legislature enacted the Open Records Portal, a website designed to encourage government transparency and accountability.  Since its infancy, the public has submitted over 2000 records requests through the portal to state and local government agencies.  Citizens are able to use the portal to shine light into the dark corners of government and we are reminded that transparency is crucial to a thriving democracy.

One such citizen, an early adopter of the portal, is Mark Allen, founder of Protect and Preserve American Fork Canyon (PPAFC).  Mark can attest that the portal has enabled PPAFC to “work hard and shed light on issues” concerning the water quality in American Fork Canyon that otherwise would remain unnoticed by the public.  In his opinion, “[t]he website has been a breath of fresh air and a powerful tool for discovering truth and stopping inappropriate governance or lack thereof in this canyon.”  Mark also pointed out that the portal is easy to use and, although not a perfect system, he has found that those in charge of maintaining and improving the system are very responsive and helpful to the public’s needs.

A similar sentiment is echoed by Michelle Gregory, who is the Adult Protective Services records officer for the Utah Department of Human Services.  Michelle has been using the Open Records Portal in her position since 2015.  In her assessment of the system, “[b]eing a regular user has made it very convenient, practical, and easy for me when it comes to helping and servicing our constituents.”  The portal has become an essential tool in her workplace to respond to citizens, attorneys, and insurance companies’ records requests.

It is clear that the Open Records Portal is “A Portal to Sunshine” no matter if you happen to be a private citizen requesting records to improve public awareness on an important matter, or a government employee responding to request and promoting transparency.  The state of Utah is a proponent of government transparency and accountability and it will continue to improve capabilities and provide records access on the portal for the public’s convenience.  On behalf of the Utah State Archives and Michelle, we “invite you to navigate it if you haven’t already!”

If you have any questions, please submit them to

Records Access II: Focus Group Discussion-Dec. 1, 2016

November 23, 2016 3 comments

The State Archives is excited to offer the third Records Access II: Focus Group Discussion on December 1, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  This is an informal class with the objective to discuss GRAMA questions, State Records Committee (SRC) rulings, and share best practices among fellow records officers.

Available to answer your GRAMA questions and concerns will be two very knowledgeable experts-Paul Tonks the Committee’s legal counsel, and Rosemary Cundiff, the government records ombudsman.

If you would like to participate and are unable to attend in person, we will have a conference line for you to connect telephonically.  Please contact Nova Dubovik,, 801-531-3834, for instructions on how to connect.

To Sign Up:

Dec 1, 2016, 9:00 am-11:00 am
Utah State Archives Courtyard Training Room
346 S Rio Grande St
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

RECORDS ACCESS II: Focus Group Discussion

November 7, 2016 Comments off

RECORDS ACCESS II: Focus Group Discussion: 

The State Archives is excited to offer the second Records Access II: Focus Group Discussion on November 15, 2016, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.  This is an information gathering class with the objective to discuss GRAMA questions, State Records Committee (SRC) rulings, and share best practices among fellow records officers.  Available to answer your GRAMA questions and concerns will be two very knowledgeable experts-Paul Tonks the Committee’s legal counsel, and Rosemary Cundiff, the government records ombudsman. Please bring questions to discuss.  If you would like to participate and are unable to attend in person, we will have a conference line for you to connect telephonically.  Please contact Nova Dubovik,, 801-531-3834, for instructions on how to connect.

To register:


The Class will be held at the Utah State Archives located on:
345 S. Rio Grande Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84101

Categories: GRAMA, Training

SRC September Round-up

October 5, 2016 Comments off

By Nova Dubovik on October 5, 2016.

The State Records Committee heard an unprecedented seven appeals on September 8, 2016.  You can locate the Decisions and Orders on the State Records Committee website and the meeting minutes and public handouts on the Utah Public Notice Website.

Clára v. Utah Transit Authority, Case No. 16-33,

Description: The Petitioner requested email correspondences between specified UTA employees. Granted in part, denied in part.

Sullivan v. Utah Department of Corrections, Case No. 16-34,

Description: The Petitioner appealed Corrections’ claim of extraordinary circumstances related to records requested. Denied.

Seamons v. Ticaboo Utility Improvement District, Case No. 16-35,

Description: The Petitioner  appealed district’s claim that it does not have records related to billing on lots that the requester owns in Ticaboo, Utah. Denied.

Salt Lake Tribune v. Provo City and Orem City Police Departments, Case No. 16-36,

Description: The Petitioner requested copies of the Spillman Case Access Logs showing BYU’s access to Provo City and Orem City Police Departments records.  Granted in part, denied in part.

Redd v. Utah Attorney General’s Office, Case No. 16-37,

Description: The Petitioner appealed the claim of extraordinary circumstances related to records requested. Denied.

Bryner v.Clearfield City, Case No. 16-38, Description:  Continuance.

If you have any questions on these cases or others, please submit them to

Getting closer! Only 3 more days!

October 4, 2016 Comments off

Getting closer! Only 3 days until Everybody Wins! Records Management Teamwork. This is a conference that your team does not want to miss! Come together, learn together, and [possibly] win together!

For the next 2 days we will highlight our all-star conference team players! Share the excitement with your team—the more the merrier! Registration is still open for in-person and online attendance, the event is free to attend. We look forward to seeing all of you on October 6th!

Panel Discussion: Managing Electronic Records

DFlemingPhoto1.jpgDavid Fleming is the Corporate Records Program Manager for Zions Bancorporation where he works closely with executive and business unit management, Legal, and IT to develop information management and legal discovery strategy and processes for the corporation. Outside of work David serves as ARMA Pacific Region Coordinator and is the current Chair Pro Tem of the Utah State Records Committee. David is a Certified Records Manager (CRM), a Certified Information Governance Professional (IGP) and a Certified Information Professional (CIP).

esjames23editJames Duckett has been the Technology Division Manager for the City of St. George for nine years, where he has combine two of his lifelong passions: working (playing) with technology and building the best IT team possible.




rebekkahshawRebekkah Shaw joined the Archives team in May 2008 after earning her degree at Utah State University. She has been the project leader in updating the general retention schedules since February 2013.





Attend in-person or participate online, the event is free! The conference will be held at the Miller Free Enterprise Center, 9750 S. 300 W. in Sandy, UT in an auditorium with stadium seating. Online participants will join using Adobe Connect, instructions will be sent out closer to the event.

To register visit our website, and select “Training and Events” under the “Quick Links Section”. Registration instructions are also available on the Open Records Portal’s “Help Center”.


General Schedule Now Obsolete

September 27, 2016 Comments off

County general schedule 1-25 Routine Activity Schedules will be removed from the website next week. As part of the General Schedule Update Project, we are gradually removing general schedules describing items which are not records according to GRAMA. This schedule is also too vague for use. Here is the schedule:

Routine Activity Schedules (CO 1-25)

These records are routine materials containing no substantive information, regarding daily activities such as meeting appointments, telephone calls, and other employee activities. Utah Code 63G-2-103 (18)(b) indicates that these types of materials are not considered by the Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) to be records.
Retention: Retain for 5 years and then destroy.
(Approved 06/1991)

If you are wondering if something is a record, please refer to Utah Code 63G-2-103(22)(b)(2015). Your analyst is also available to help. If you are wondering if a draft is a record, there is a great resource on the Utah Records Ombudsman page.

If you have concerns about this schedule being removed, please contact Rebekkah Shaw at or 801-531-3851.