Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Getting around public records act Excuse Number 9

Posted By CotoBlogzz 06-20-2010

The good news is that California government code section 6250 was enacted because the legislature recognized that access to information concerning the conduct of government employees is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in this state. Such information means any handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, photographing, photocopying, transmitting by electronic mail or facsimile, and every other means of recording upon any tangible thing any form of communication or representation, including letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols, or combinations thereof, and any record thereby created, regardless of the manner in which the record has been stored.

Now for the bad news.  Any government employee and or bureaucracy can get around code section 6250 it if really wants to.

We previously described how the California Law Revision commission  simply excused a six-month black period where telephone records were missing  to a “service provider failure." In this case a telephone system failure. The implications being that any government entity can avoid being subjected to freedom of information act requests, by merely outsourcing its communication needs for example.

Now comes the California’s Department of Fish and Game with the following response I part:  “Even if the records you requested did exist, they would most likely be law enforcement investigatory records, exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act pursuant to Government Code section 6254(f), see also, Haynie v. Superior Court, 26 Cal. 4th 1061 and Williams v. Superior Court, 5. Cal, 4th 337, according to senior staff counsel Nathan Goedde.  The implications are that when a parasitic bureaucracy does not want to disclose certain records, it can merely catalogue 

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