In Part Two, GRAMA defines the structure of classification. Records are either public, and available for everyone to inspect and copy; they are private, controlled, protected under GRAMA, and disclosure is restricted; or their access is governed by court rule, another state statute, federal statute, or federal regulation, and their access is governed by that specific statute rule, or regulation. (Subsection 63G-2-201(2, 3))
Part Three of GRAMA identifies and provides general and specific direction to record classifications. Classification determines what access rights a person may have to records.
. . . .(3) "Classification," "classify," and their derivative forms mean determining whether a record series, record, or information within a record is public, private, controlled, protected, or exempt from disclosure under Subsection 63G-2-201(3)(b).
Section 3.1 Records that must be disclosed.
GRAMA includes a list of records that must always be disclosed. (Subsection (2)) This list includes such things as:
- the name, gender, gross compensation, job title, job description, business address, business email address, business telephone number, hours worked, employment dates, and relevant education, previous employment, and job qualifications of a current or former governmental entity employee (excluding undercover law enforcement and investigative personnel)
- minutes of an open public meeting;
- records filed with various offices that provide information about real property, including such things as titles, encumbrances, use restrictions, and tax status of real property;
- documentation of the compensation paid to a contractor or private provider; (a contractor works for government while a private provider is hired by government to work for the citizens);
- summary data, which means statistical data derived from restricted records that does not reveal the restricted elements;
- voter registration records, excluding the voter’s driver license number and Social Security number.
GRAMA also lists records that are normally public. (Subsection (3)) These records include those for which access can be restricted if circumstances exist that make interests favoring restriction outweigh the interests favoring access.
- administrative staff manuals and policy statements;
- records documenting compliance to the terms of a contract;
- drafts that were circulated beyond the governmental entity and it’s immediate business associates,
- drafts that were not finalized but which were relied on to make a decision;
- disciplinary records of a past or present governmental entity employee if the disciplinary action has been completed, all time periods for administrative appeal have expired, and the charges were sustained;
- final audit reports;
- occupational and professional licenses;
- business licenses.
An example of a restricted classification for these normally public records might include administrative staff manuals for the prison that include information that would potentially be dangerous in the hands of inmates. In this instance, this normally public record could be classified as protected under Section 63G-2-305(13), which protects information, which if disclosed, would jeopardize the security or safety of a correctional facility.
The examples provided here are not a complete list of records which GRAMA identifies as normally public or records that must be disclosed. Neither is the list identified in GRAMA exhaustive. Ultimately, a record is public unless otherwise expressly stated by law.