February 6, 2012
IPAD is the office within the Minnesota Department of Administration responsible for matters relating to the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MNGDPA) – the state’s primary open government law.
IPAD does a variety of things, from hosting trainings on the MNGDPA, to providing opinions on how the law is implemented by government agencies. On occasion, IPAD also drafts recommendations for legislation to modify the MNGDPA. One of their recent legislative proposals was sent to us by open government lobbyist Rich Neumeister. We’ve posted it in our document archive.
The following is a summary of the principle modifications that the legislation would make to the MNGDPA:
Section 7, Subd. 2(b) of the MNGDPA would be removed. This subdivision now requires the “responsible authority” of a government agency to prepare and update public data access procedures, and to publicly post them.
Section 8, Subd. 3(a) would have additional language added, specifying that after government data has been provided to a person, that person cannot access the same data for six months.
Section 8, Subd. 3(g) would entail a new section specifying that “electronic geospatial government data” could be shared between government agencies free of charge.
Section 9, Subd. 4 would restrict the ability of the subjects of government data to appeal “challenge determinations” related to certain data, if a government agency has corrected inaccurate data that it holds.
Section 10, Subd. 7 would include language that would alter certain procedures used to develop summary data from nonpublic data, including procedures for paying for summary data, and the addition of a nondisclosure agreement.
Section 17 would add language expressly allowing the “responsible authority” of an agency to determine what data constitutes “security information” that cannot be disclosed to a requester. The reason for such a classification would need to be provided to a requester in writing.
Section 24 would include language noting that “volunteers performing services” for a government entity would fall with the MNGDPA’s definition of “Personnel Data.”
Section 25 would be altered so that formal complaints made against public officials would remain public, while at the same time narrowing the definition of “public officials” to exempt “members of boards or commissions appointed by the governor” or other elected officers. Complaints against such individuals would instead seem to be accessible via the terms of Section 42.
Section 28 would include language further restricting information about the identity of any individual who files a complaint of sexual or other harassment.
Section 51 would be modified to make certain financial data non-public once criminal investigative files had become inactive.