Ombudsman Frequently Asked Questions
- What does GRAMA say about sharing records?
- Who can receive access to shared records?
- Can records be shared with contractors or private providers?
- Is a written agreement necessary?
- Who provides access to shared records in the event of a GRAMA request?
- What are additional guidelines in GRAMA about providing access to shared records?
What does GRAMA say about sharing records?
Part Two of the Government Records Access and Management Act, “Access to Records,” outlines requirements for sharing records. Sharing a record means providing private, controlled, or protected records or information to another governmental entity or to a contractor or private provider. Records- sharing differs from GRAMA requests in that the recipient is not a member of the public, but is another governmental entity or is a contractor or private provider employed by a governmental entity.
Who can receive access to shared records?
The law states that providing access to private, controlled, or protected records is allowed when the receiving governmental entity is:
- a. Entitled by law to inspect the records
- b. Required to inspect the record as a condition of participating in a state or federal program or for receiving state or federal funds (Utah Code Section 63G-2-206(3)(a)).
- c. One of the following:
- 1. A repository or archives for purposes of historical preservation, administrative maintenance, or destruction;
- 2. An entity that litigates, or investigates civil, criminal, or administrative law, and the record is necessary to a proceeding or investigation;
- 3. An entity that is authorized by state statute to conduct an audit and the record is needed for that purpose;
- 4. The Legislature, a legislative committee, a member of the legislature or a legislative staff member when the record is in relation to the Legislature’s duties (Utah Code Section 63G-2-206(1)(a-d)).
Records can also be shared with contractors and private providers. A contractor is a person who contracts with a governmental entity to provide goods and services directly to the governmental entity, or a private, nonprofit organization that receives funds from a governmental entity. A private provider is a person who contracts with a governmental entity to provide services directly to the public (Utah Code Section 63G-2-103(5)(18). Records can be shared with contractors and private providers only when the recipient’s use of the records produce a public benefit that is greater than or equal to the individual privacy rights protected, and when the contractor or private provider gives written assurance that: a. The record is necessary for the performance of a contract with a governmental entity, b. The record will only be used for the performance of the contract, c. The recipient agrees not to disclose the record to any other person, d. The recipient agrees not to use the records for advertising or solicitation purposes (Utah Code Section 63G-2-206(6)).
Before sharing records that may be protected, controlled, or private, a governmental entity must inform the recipient of the record’s classification and accompanying access restrictions. This notification should be in writing.When the recipient is another state, the federal government, or another entity not subject to GRAMA, the sharing governmental entity must obtain the recipient’s written agreement that it will abide by access restrictions. A written agreement is required unless another statute, federal regulation, or interstate agreement already governs the sharing of records. In order to facilitate record sharing, the Utah State Archives has created record sharing forms which can be used to notify the recipient of the shared record’s classification or to document a record sharing agreement between governmental entities, or between contractors or private providers. These forms are available: (link)