State Records Committee Appeal 04-01
BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH
JEREMY BECKHAM, Appellant, vs.
UNIVERSITY OF UTAH, Appellee.
DECISION AND ORDER
Case No. 04-01
By this appeal, Jeremy Beckham seeks access to "all approved protocols for all research currently utilizing baboons and/or macaques." The State Records Committee, having reviewed the materials submitted by the parties, and having heard oral argument and testimony on January 15, 2004, now issues the following Decision and Order.
STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR DECISION
1. The Government Records Access and Management Act ("GRAMA") specifies that "all records are public unless otherwise expressly provided by statute." Utah Code Ann. 63-2-201(2). Records that are not public are designated as either "private," "protected," or "controlled." See Utah Code Ann. 63-2-302, -303 and -304. The University of Utah denied Mr. Beckham=s request for the research protocols pursuant to Utah Code 63-2-304(40). It also asserted that the requested records were properly classified as protected under Utah Code 63-2-304(10) ("records the disclosure of which would jeopardize the life or safety of an individual") and 63-2-304(11) ("records the disclosure of which would jeopardize the life or safety of an individual").
2. The Committee agrees that at least some of the information sought by Mr. Beckham has properly been classified as protected, but it is not convinced that the University has fulfilled its responsibility under Utah Code 63-2-307(1) to "allow access to information in the record that the requester is entitled to inspect under [GRAMA] . . . ." Therefore, the Committee orders the University to redact the information it believes is necessary to maintain its protected status under Utah Code 63-2-304(40), as well as -304(36) and -304(10) and (11). The University shall then produce the portions of the records that contain information already in the public sphere, including, but necessarily not limited to, information contained in public abstracts.
WHEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT Appellant's appeal is denied in part and granted in part as set forth above.
RIGHT TO APPEAL
Either party may appeal this Decision and Order to the District Court. The petition for review must be filed no later than thirty (30) days after the date of this order. The petition for judicial review must be a complaint. The complaint and the appeals process are governed by the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure and Utah Code Ann. 63-2-404. The court is required to make its decision de novo. In order to protect its rights on appeal, a party may wish to seek advice from an attorney.
Pursuant to Utah Code Ann. 63-2-403(14), the government entity herein shall comply with the order of the records committee and, if records are ordered to be produced, file:
(i) a notice of compliance with the records committee upon production of the records; or
(ii) a notice of intent to appeal.
If the government entity fails to file a notice of compliance or a notice of intent to appeal, the Records Committee may impose a civil penalty of up to $500 for each day of continuing noncompliance.
Entered this 21st day of January, 2004.
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE
Patricia Smith-Mansfield, Chair
State Records Committee