B. Other statutory exclusions.

The following statutes allow or require public officials to keep records confidential. Note that the descriptions of the statutes authorizing or requiring confidentiality contained in this outline are, for the most part, summaries and paraphrases, not verbatim. Those who want the specific language of the statute, or more detailed information, should consult the Alaska Statute provisions cited in the outline.

1. Agriculture and Conservation Board. The Board of Agriculture and Conservation may, by regulation, classify loan and marketing information and make some classes of loan or marketing information confidential. AS 03.09.040. Those records specified as confidential are found at 11 AAC 39.061.

2. Alcoholic Beverages. The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, after consulting with package store licensees, must create and maintain a statewide database that contains a monthly record of the alcohol purchased by, and shipped to, a person who resides in a municipality or established village that has restricted the sale of alcoholic beverages under local option provisions.  Except for authorized disclosures to law enforcement, the Board, and liquor sellers and purchasers the information contained in the database is confidential and is not subject to inspection or copying under the Public Records Act. Information in the database must be purged one year after entry unless it is needed for criminal investigation or prosecution. AS 04.06.095.

3. Banking. Bank examiners are prohibited from disclosing information they obtain about banks' assets and liabilities, except to the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, AS 06.01.015. Records of the Department obtained through the administration of laws governing examinations of financial institutions is confidential, not subject to subpoena, and may be revealed only with the consent of the Department. AS 06.01.025. Bank records pertaining to depositors and customers are confidential, with certain exceptions, including when disclosure is required by court order, or by federal or state law or regulation, or authorized by the customer. AS 06.01.028.

Similarly, trust company records relating to customers are confidential, with certain exception including when disclosure is compelled by a court or administrative order, or required by federal or state law, or authorized by the customer. AS 06.26.610. An application for acquisition of control of a trust company is supposed to be published by the department promptly upon filing, but publication can be deferred for a month if the proposed transferee requests confidential treatment and represents that a public announcement of the tender offer and the filing of appropriate forms with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission or the appropriate federal banking agency, as applicable, will occur within the period of deferral; and the department determines that public interest will not be harmed by the requested confidential treatment. AS 06.26.460.

4. Businesses and professions.

a. Disclosure of Mental Health Information. Licensed professionals may disclose otherwise confidential patient mental health information, communications and records to the Department of Health and Social Services for a variety of purposes when disclosure is authorized by law. Such information, communications and records in the possession of the department are confidential medical records of patients and are not open to public inspection and copying under the public records act. AS 08.02.040.

b. Accountants. The Board of Public Accountancy may require that applicants for issuance or renewal of permits to practice public accounting, either on a uniform or random basis, undergo a quality review. A quality review report is confidential, and not a public record, unless the report becomes part of the record of a disciplinary hearing. AS 08.04.426(e). Information communicated by a client to a licensed accountant about a matter concerning which the client has employed the licensee in a professional capacity is confidential and not a public record when obtained by the Board of Public Accountancy in the course of a quality review, ethical investigations, or as discovery or evidence in administrative proceedings. AS 08.04.662(b).

c. Professional Counselors. Licensed professional counselors generally may not reveal to another person a communication from a client. This prohibition does not apply to disclosures authorized by the client, or information released to the licensing board during the investigation of a complaint or as part of a disciplinary or other proceeding. Information so obtained by the board is confidential and is not subject to disclosure under the public records act. AS 08.29.200.

d. Chiropractor Peer Review Committees. The Board of Chiropractic Examiners may establish a peer review committee to review complaints concerning the reasonableness or appropriateness of care, or fees or costs for services. Patient records presented to a review committee that were confidential before remain confidential. AS 08.20.185.

e. Collection Agencies. Information that collection agencies are required by law to file in order to be licensed is confidential. AS 08.24.250.

f. Architects, Engineers and Land Surveyors. A wide range of documents relating to architects, engineers and land surveyors is confidential, including investigation files if an investigation is still pending, exams and exam keys, letters of inquiry and reference concerning applicants, and other documents. AS 08.48.071(d).

g. Guide-Outfitters and Transporters. AS 08.54.760 exempts records of guided hunts, collected and maintained by the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, from public disclosure. Guide-outfitters and transporters may not provide big game hunting or transportation services without a written contract with the client. The contract must include such information identification of the registered guide-outfitter or transporter, name of the client, the big game to be hunted, approximate time and dates of the hunt, and the amount to be paid for the big game hunting services provided. Except as necessary for disciplinary proceedings conducted by the board and as necessary for law enforcement purposes, a copy of a contract provided to the department is confidential. AS 08.54.680(c).

h. Family Therapists. Information communicated to a licensed marital or family therapist by a client about a matter concerning which the client has employed the therapist in a professional capacity is generally confidential. When confidential information is obtained by the Board of Marital and Family Therapy as a part of disciplinary or other proceedings, it remains confidential and does not become public record. AS 08.63.200(c).

i. Pharmacist Records. Information concerning patients in pharmacist records is confidential. AS 08.80.315.

j. Psychologists, Clinical Social Workers. Communications made to psychologists or psychological associates in their professional capacity are confidential, AS 08.86.200, as are client communications to clinical social workers. AS 08.95.900. Otherwise confidential communications disclosed to the Board of Psychologists and Psychological Associate Examiners in order to enable a health professional to defend against accusations of wrongdoing remain confidential, and do not become public record. AS 08.86.200(a)(5).

5. Environmental Audits/Confidential Self-Evaluations. Owners and operators of a facility, operation or property that is regulated under an environmental law may disclose the part of an environmental audit report or information consisting of a confidential self-evaluation or analysis without waiving the privilege generally applicable to such documents and information if the disclosure is made under a written claim of confidentiality to a government official or agency by the owner or operator who prepared the audit report or who caused the audit report to be prepared. Documents received in this context are to be kept confidential, and are not subject to disclosure under the public records act. AS 09.25.455.

6. Corporations.

a. Investigations of corporate law violations. The commissioner of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development has authority to require corporations to answer under oath questions about whether the company is violating corporation laws. The answers are not open to public inspection except when they contain evidence to be used in criminal or other enforcement proceedings. AS 10.06.818 - .820 (for profit corporations); AS 10.20.655 to -.660 (nonprofit corporations).

b. Bidcos (business and industrial development corporations). The commissioner and employees of the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development may not disclose information acquired by them in the course of regulating Bidcos, except as required by law, unless the Department determines disclosure (of information other than an examination of a licensed corporation) is necessary to promote the public interest. AS 10.13.930.

7. Courts; Criminal Justice Information; Medical Death Examinations and Reviews

a. Criminal Justice Information Systems. Alaska has amended its statutes and regulations governing access to criminal justice information stored or processed in computers. See AS 12.62. et seq. (Criminal Justice Information Systems ["CJIS"] Privacy and Security Act), effective July 1, 1995, (set out in full in the appendix to this outline), and 13 AAC 68.005 -.905, effective January 10, 1997. Similar statutes and regulations were adopted by virtually all states, as requirements of receiving Law Enforcement Assistance Administration ( LEAA ) grant money. They were often originally limited to systems funded in whole or in part by LEAA. These statutes purport to place off limits virtually all criminal justice information stored or processed by computer, and a few agencies have occasionally gone so far as to deny access to any information accessible through computer.

Access to information in criminal justice information systems is generally available only to qualified law enforcement agencies. The law imposes obligations on criminal justice agencies with respect to collecting, reporting, completeness, accuracy, security, updating, correcting, sealing and purging of criminal justice information, AS 12.62.110-.190, and the regulations provide detailed guidance on how these provisions are to be implemented. In general, the law applies to any "criminal justice information system," which is defined to mean "an automated data processing system used to collect, store, display or transmit criminal justice information, and that permits information within the system, without action by the agency maintaining the information, to be directly accessed by another principal department of the state, another branch of state government, an agency of another state, or the federal government, or by a political subdivision of a state or the federal government." AS 12.62.900(13). The CJIS statute provides that "criminal justice information and the identity of recipients of criminal justice information is confidential and exempt from disclosure under AS 40.25. The existence or non-existence of criminal justice information may not be released to or confirmed to any person except as specifically provided in the CJIS statutes." AS 12.62.160(a).

To understand the scope of Alaska's CJIS law and its application to particular records requires careful reading of an inter-related set of definitions. First, one must parse the definition of "criminal justice information," which itself includes several other terms with their own technical definitions, including "criminal history record information," "non-conviction information," and "correctional treatment information." The breadth of these definitions should already be evident, but looking, e.g., at "non-conviction information" one finds that it includes any "information that an identifiable person was arrested or that criminal charges were filed or considered against the person" when a prosecutor or grand jury decided more than a year ago not to initiate criminal proceedings or when criminal charges against the person have been dismissed, or the person has been acquitted and at least a year has lapsed since that action, or, if after a year since the arrest, filing of charges, or referral to a prosecutor for review, there is no indication of the disposition of the criminal charges or arrest.

The term "criminal history record information" is even more comprehensive, and contains "past conviction information" (which in turn encompasses any information showing that an identifiable person who has been unconditionally discharged has previously been convicted of a crime, including the terms of any sentence, probation, suspended imposition of sentence, or parole, and any information that a criminal conviction or sentence has been reversed, vacated, set aside, or been the subject of executive clemency), "current offender information" (which in turn includes any information showing that an identifiable person is currently under arrest for or charged with a crime, and prosecution is under review or has been deferred by written or oral agreement, a warrant exists for the person's arrest, or less than a year has elapsed since the date of the arrest or filing of the charges), and "criminal identification information" (which in turn includes fingerprints, photographs and other information or descriptions that identify a person as having been the subject of a criminal arrest or prosecution).

While a respect for and concern about privacy is obviously an important value, placing all of the foregoing information off limits would be intolerable given the traditions and experience of our society, if for no other reason than that maintenance of a system of secret arrests and incarcerations is unthinkable, a point that Americans often refer to with pride to distinguish themselves from dictatorships and other totalitarian regimes. In fact, it is not all kept secret. The key to understanding why the CJIS statute does not go as far as it might seem at first blush is found in the definition of "information" in AS 12.62.900(17), which states that unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, information means "data compiled within a criminal justice information system." As a result, the term "criminal justice information" and all other terms throughout the statute that incorporate the term "information" are restricted to data "compiled within a criminal justice information system." That term, in turn, means "an automatic data processing system" that is used for certain purposes and that permits direct access by various government agencies. AS 12.62.900(13). In short, government computer systems dealing with criminal justice information. [The term "automatic data processing" is defined in a different statute, AS 44.21.170, to mean "those methods of processing data by using electrical accounting machinery (EAM) or electronic data processing equipment (EDP), and data communications devices and those systems used with automatic data processing equipment and the transmission and reception of data."]

Records maintained in other forms simply are not subject to the comprehensive confidentiality provisions of the CJIS security and privacy statute. These other records would obviously include, but not be limited to, information maintained in written and typed paper records, microfiche and microfilm, video and every other medium of storing information other than the electrical accounting machinery or electronic data processing equipment and the data communications devices used in connection with them.

There are other important exceptions to the general confidentiality requirements, even with respect to information that might otherwise be defined as criminal justice information under the CJIS statute. First, "criminal justice information" is defined to exclude any court record, record of traffic offenses maintained for the purpose of regulating drivers' licenses, or record of a juvenile subject to the jurisdiction of a court under AS 47.12. See AS 12.62.900(12). In addition, aside from the disclosures that may be made under the statute to law enforcement personnel and other officials for law enforcement and other government reasons, "current offender information" may be provided to a person for any purpose unless its release would unreasonably compromise the privacy of a minor or vulnerable adult. AS 12.62.160(b)(8). "Current offender information" is defined as information showing that an identifiable person:

(A) is currently under arrest for or is charged with a crime, and prosecution is under review or has been deferred by agreement, a warrant exists for the person's arrest, or less than a year has elapsed since the date of the arrest or filing of the charges;

(B) is currently released on bail or on other conditions imposed by a court in a criminal case, either before or after trial, including the conditions of release;

(C) is currently serving a criminal sentence or is under the custody of the Commissioner of Corrections, which includes the terms and conditions of sentence, probation, suspended imposition of sentence, discretionary or mandatory parole, furlough, executive clemency or other release, and the location of any place of incarceration, half-way house, restitution center or other correctional placement to which the person is assigned; and

(D) has had a criminal conviction or sentence reversed, vacated, set aside or has been the subject of executive clemency. These items, then, are all generally available from the computerized criminal justice information systems of various governmental units.

AS 12.62.900(14).

Past conviction information may be provided to a person for any purpose if less than ten years has elapsed since the date of unconditional discharge to the date of the request. AS 12.62.160(b)(9). "Past conviction information," as noted above, is information showing that an identifiable person who has been unconditionally discharged, has previously been convicted of a crime, and includes the terms of any sentence, probation, suspended imposition of sentence or parole, and information that a conviction of sentence has been reversed, vacated, set aside or been the subject of executive clemency. AS 12.62.900(20).

Criminal justice information may be provided if the information also is "commonly or traditionally provided by criminal justice agencies in order to identify, locate or apprehend fugitives or wanted persons or to recover stolen property, or for public reporting of recent arrests, charges and other criminal justice activity. AS 12.62.160(b)(3), and may be provided to the person who is the subject of the information. AS 12.62.160(b)(10). Notwithstanding the Public Records Act, a criminal justice agency may charge fees for processing requests for records. The nature of these fees, and certain other issues relating to access to information which is permitted by law is set forth in AS 12.62.170(c) and (d).

A person whose criminal justice information has been released or used in knowing violation of the CJIS statute or a regulation adopted pursuant to it may bring an action for damages in the superior court. In a civil or criminal action based on violation of the CJIS statute, or regulations adopted pursuant to it, it is a defense if the person relied in good faith upon the provisions of the CJIS statute or of other laws or regulations governing maintenance, release or use of criminal justice information, or upon policies or procedures established by a criminal justice agency. AS 12.62.200. Depending upon how broadly or literally the term "criminal justice information" is interpreted, the Public Records Act, and particularly that portion of it dealing with records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, AS 40.25.120(6), would constitute an "other law governing maintenance, release or use of criminal justice information."

b. Continuing Access to Criminal Record Information. “Although setting aside a conviction limits the consequences of the conviction itself, it does not change the fact that an individual was previously found guilty of committing a crime. … [W]here a conviction is set aside it ‘does not mean that the crime, and the events surrounding the crime, never occurred.’ Setting aside a conviction does not expunge the conviction from the individual's criminal record, which means that "[b]oth the conviction and the judgment setting it aside consequently remain in the public record." Thus, although the set aside indicates that the defendant has made a "substantial showing of rehabilitation," it does not erase the fact of conviction.  State Board of Nursing v. Platt, 169 P.3d 595, 599 (Alaska 2007) (citing Journey v. State, 895 P.2d 955, 962 (Alaska 1995), add’l cites omitted). The only instance in which Alaska law provides that an adult may have a conviction removed from his or her criminal record is where he or she is able to show that "beyond a reasonable doubt, [the conviction] resulted from mistaken identity or false accusation." Id., citing AS 12.62.180(b). In Farmer v. State, 235 P.3d 1012 (Alaska 2010), while acknowledging that it is an open question whether Alaska courts have limited inherent authority to expunge criminal records, as federal courts do, the Supreme Court affirmed a superior court ruling that the petitioner in that case would not qualify for expungement even if such authority exists, because any such inherent judicial authority to expunge criminal records should be an exceptional or extraordinary remedy rather than a generally available one. [B]ecause the fact of conviction remains part of an individual's criminal record after a conviction is set aside, "[m]embers of the public, such as potential employers inquiring into a job applicant's criminal record, can learn of the existence of a conviction that has been set aside."  Platt, 895 P.2d at 600.  The court added that it was “cognizant of the fact that criminal records, even those containing convictions that have been set aside, often have ‘pernicious effects.’ We observed in Journey v. State that ‘a person with a criminal record is often burdened by social stigma, subjected to additional investigation, prejudiced in future criminal proceedings, and discriminated against by prospective employers.’ These consequences may be harsh…(b)ut they appear to be within the contemplation of the legislature that enacted (the statute regarding grounds for denial, suspension or revocation of a nursing license).”  Id. “ Members of the public, such as potential employers inquiring into a job applicant's criminal record, can learn of the existence of a conviction that has been set aside. They can do this by researching court records or by requiring a person applying for employment or housing to divulge the fact of a prior conviction even if it has been set aside.” Doe v. State, 92 P.3d 398, 407 (Alaska 2004).

Similarly, in Johnson v. State, 50 P.3d 404 (Ak. App. 2002), a man convicted of kidnapping and rape, after serving his time and no longer on supervised probation and parole, moved to have the court seal the records of his criminal convictions. At the time he filed his motion in 2001, Johnson was not required to register as a sex offender because he committed his sexual offense in 1980, prior to the legislature's 1994 enactment of the Alaska Sex Offender Registration Act, and Doe v. Otte, 259 F.3d 979, 995 (9th Cir. 2001), holding that the Alaska Sex Offender Registration Act violates the Ex Post Facto Clause of the United States Constitution when applied to defendants whose crimes were committed before enactment of the law, was still on appeal to and had not been reversed by the United States Supreme Court. The Court of Appeals affirmed the superior court's finding that the public policy reasons for allowing criminal records to remain open to the public outweigh the reasons that Johnson proffered for sealing his records. The appellate court recited the strong state policy and history favoring open access to public records at common law and pursuant to the state's public records act, and also noted more specifically that AS 12.62.160(b)(8) provides for the use and release of this sort of criminal justice information, 50 P.3d at 405-406, and that Adm. Rule 37.5 dealing with records of the court system directed disclosure, with no applicable exemption. In cases where there is no express exception to the state's disclosure laws, we balance "the public interest in disclosure on the one hand, and the privacy and reputation interests of the affected individuals together with the government's interest in confidentiality, on the other." We also recognize the legislature's expressed bias in favor of public disclosure and that "doubtful cases should be resolved by permitting public inspection." In a case involving criminal records, we balance the public's right to know about an individual's past crimes against the convicted individual's right to privacy. Johnson's case is no different than any number of felons who are successfully rehabilitated yet who can point to negative events in their lives and blame the events on the disclosure of criminal records. "Courts, commentators and legislatures have recognized that a person with a criminal record is often burdened by social stigma, subjected to additional investigation, prejudiced in future criminal proceedings, and discriminated against by prospective employers." The court found that state law and the court rules express a clear preference for public records to remain accessible.

c. Commission on Judicial Conduct. A Commission on Judicial Conduct has been established to inquire into various allegations about judges involving criminal misconduct, disabilities that interfere with performance of judicial duties, misconduct in office, failure to perform judicial duties, and other similar problems. The commission may, after a hearing, decide to exonerate the judge of the charges, reprimand the judge publicly or privately, or refer the matter to the Supreme Court with recommendations that the judge be suspended, removed or retired from office or publicly or privately censured by the Supreme Court. If the commission decides to reprimand a judge privately, the private reprimand is confidential by law. If the commission exonerates a judge, a copy of the proceedings and report of the commission may be made public on the request of the judge. AS 22.30.011. The statute further provides that all proceedings, records, files and reports of the Commission on Judicial Conduct are confidential and may not be publicly disclosed except upon written waiver of the judge in question, or upon filing of formal charges in which case only the charges, the subsequent formal hearing, and the Commission's ultimate decision and minority report, if any, shall become public. AS 22.30.060. That section further provides that if the subject matter or the fact of the filing of charges has become public, the commission may issue a statement in order to confirm the pendency of the investigation, to clarify the procedural aspects of the proceedings, to explain the right of the judge to a fair hearing, or to state that the judge denies the allegations. Except as stated above, proceedings and records pertaining to proceedings that occur before the Commission holds a hearing are confidential, AS 22.30.011(b), and even after formal charges are filed, the deliberations of the Commission concerning the case are confidential. AS 22.30.060(b)(3).

d. Jury Box and Computer List. The "jury box" (with named or numbered pieces of paper corresponding to the jury list), or the computer list (a randomly generated list of prospective jurors that may be used in place of the jury box) to be used for jury selection "may be examined by the parties or by an attorney authorized to practice law in the state within limitations and under conditions prescribed by the court." By negative implication, these records pertaining to potential jurors are not available to the press or public generally. This question would most likely be answered by reference to constitutional or common law concerning access to judicial records and juror privacy. AS 09.20.060.

e. Opening or Publishing Contents of Sealed Letters. It is a crime for one to willfully and without authorization open or read a sealed letter not addressed to him or her, or to publish any portion of a letter knowing it was opened without authority of the writer or addressee. AS 11.76.120.

f. Intercepted Private Communications. Upon proper application, and for specified reasons, authorities may obtain judicial approval for intercepting private communications. AS 12.37.010-.130. Tapes or other recordings, and any records made during the interception, and all applications made and all orders authorizing interception are sealed, and maintained as the court directs, for at least ten years. AS 12.37.070-.080.

g. Medical Death Examinations; Child Fatality Review Teams. When the state medical examiner issues an investigative report containing the examiner's findings and conclusions after an investigation or inquiry is completed, the report is a privileged and confidential document, not subject to public disclosure under AS 40.25. It may be disclosed to public officers and employees for a public purpose and, when doing so will not interfere with an ongoing investigation or prosecution, to a person who is related to the deceased or who has a financial or personal interest in the estate of the deceased person. AS 12.65.020(b).

A state child fatality review team assists the state medical examiner by performing a variety of functions, including determining the cause and manner of the deaths of children under 18, and, unless the child's death is currently being investigated by a law enforcement agency, promptly reviewing the medical examiner's reports of a death of a child if the child is under 10, or the deceased child, a sibling, or a member of the deceased child's household was is in the legal or physical custody of the state, or has been the subject of a report of harm or a child abuse or neglect investigation, or if a protective order has been in effect during the previous year in the deceased child's immediate family or household, or the child's death occurred in a mental health institution, mental health treatment facility, foster home, or other residential or child care facility, including a day care facility. Further, the team must review records concerning abuse or neglect of the deceased child or another child in the deceased child's household, and the criminal history or juvenile delinquency of a person who may have caused the death of the child and of persons in the deceased child's household, and concerning a history of domestic violence involving a person who may have caused the death of the child or involving persons in the deceased child's household, including records in the central registry of protective orders. AS 12.65.130.

The state child fatality review team may (1) collect data and analyze and interpret information regarding deaths of children in this state; (2) develop state and local databases on deaths; (3) develop a model protocol for the investigation of deaths of children; and (4) periodically issue reports to the public containing statistical data and other information that does not violate federal or state law concerning confidentiality of the children and their families involved in the reviews. These reports may include identification of trends, patterns and risk factors in deaths of the children; analyses of the incidence and causes of deaths of children in this state; recommendations for improving the coordination of government services and investigations; and recommendations for prevention of future deaths of children. AS 12.65.130(b).

The child fatality review teams and their members shall have access to all information and records to which the state medical examiner has access, and must maintain the confidentiality of such information and records concerning deaths under review, except when disclosures may be necessary to enable the team to carry out its duties. However, the team and its members may not disclose a record that is confidential under federal or state law. AS 12.65.140(a). Except for public reports issued by the team, records and other information collected by the team or a member of the team related to duties are confidential and not subject to public disclosure under the public records act. AS 12.65.140(b). The state medical examiner is directed to help form local, regional, or district child fatality review teams to assist local, regional and district medical examiners in determining the cause and manner of deaths of children under 18 years of age. Any such teams have the same access to information and confidentiality requirements as the state child fatality review teams. AS 12.65.015.

h. Reports on Outcome of Civil Litigation. Civil litigants whose cases are resolved by trial, dismissal, summary judgment, settlement, or otherwise must report to the Alaska Judicial Council information about the terms of the resolution or settlement, including the name, number and general description of the case, the dollar amounts and nonmonetary terms payable and the party and/or attorney to whom the amounts were paid as damages, attorney fees or otherwise. The information so received by the council is confidential. This restriction does not prevent the disclosure of summaries and statistics in a manner that does not allow the identification of particular cases or parties. AS 09.68.130

i. Restitution. When restitution is ordered as part of criminal sentencing, the Department of Law is authorized to collect restitution on behalf of the recipient unless the recipient doesn't want that. Information forwarded by the court to facilitate this collection is confidential and is not open to inspection as a public record. The Department of Law or its agents may not disclose the information except as necessary to collect on the restitution. AS 12.55.051(f).

8. Education.

a. Drug Testing for Bus Drivers. Drivers of motor vehicles used to transport school children must submit to tests for use of drugs and alcohol, and the testing program must include random testing. For a driver who is not required to have a commercial driver's license, an employer shall keep and maintain records of the testing for improper use of drugs or alcohol on a confidential basis. AS 14.09.025. This would seem to imply that records of those bus drivers who are required to have commercial licenses are not confidential.

b. Employee Evaluations. School boards must adopt certified employee evaluation systems for evaluation and improvement of the performance of the district's teachers and administrators. Information provided to a school district under the school's evaluation system concerning the performance of an individual being evaluated is not a public record but the person being evaluated is entitled to a copy and can waive confidentiality. AS 14.20.149(h).

c. Student Financial Aid. All information submitted in connection with a determination by educational institutions of financial need is confidential; applicants can authorize release. AS 14.43.910.

d. Collective Bargaining. In collective bargaining sessions between post-secondary institutions that are public employers, and representatives of bargaining units of faculty or other employees, student representatives of those institutions may:

            (1) attend and observe all meetings between the public employer and the representative of the                  bargaining unit which are involved with collective bargaining; and

            (2) have access to all documents pertaining to collective bargaining exchanged by the employer and         the representative of the bargaining unit, including copies of transcripts of the meetings.

AS 23.40.245. The statute specifically states that student representatives may not disclose information concerning the substance of collective bargaining obtained in the course of their activities as observers or participants in these meetings, unless said information is released by the employer or the representative of the bargaining unit. At least by implication, therefore, the law makes confidential the information and records maintained by the institution in the course of those same collective bargaining negotiations during the time they are underway.

e. University Board of Regents. All records of meetings and proceedings of the University of Alaska Board of Regents must be open to inspection by the public and press, and findings of an executive session must be made part of the record of proceedings. AS 14.40.160(a).

f. Information About University Lands. Notwithstanding the public records act, on a determination that it is in the best interest of the University of Alaska, or on the request of the person who has provided the information, the president of the university may keep the following confidential: (1) the name of a person applying for the sale, lease or other disposal of university land or an interest in university land; (2) before the issuance of a notice of intent to award a contract relating to a sale, lease or disposal of university land or an interest in university land, the names of the participants and the terms of their offers; (3) all geological, well, geophysical, engineering, architectural, sales, market, cost, appraisal, timber cruise, gross receipts, net receipts or other financial information relating to university land or an interest in university land and considered for, offered for or currently subject to disposal or a contract; (4) cost data and financial information submitted by an applicant in support of applications for bonds, leases or other information in offerings and ongoing operations relating to management of university land; (5) applications for rights-of-way or easements across university land; and (6) requests for information about or applications by public agencies for university land that is being considered for use for a public purpose. 14.40.367

g. Confidentiality of Research. The public records inspection requirements of AS 40.25.110 - 40.25.121 do not apply to writings or records that consist of intellectual property or proprietary information received, generated, learned or discovered during research conducted by the University of Alaska or its agents or employees until publicly released, copyrighted or patented, or until the research is terminated, except that the university shall make available the title and a description of all research projects, the name of the researcher, and the amount and source of funding provided for each project. AS 14.40.453.

h. Alaska Aerospace Corporation. The Legislature in 1991 created the Alaska Aerospace Corporation as a public corporation, located for administrative purposes in the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development and affiliated with the University of Alaska, but with a separate and independent legal existence. Records of the corporation are generally public, but trade secrets or other proprietary technical information supplied to the corporation is confidential unless the owner of the trade secret authorizes its release or a court orders it. AS 14.40.881.

9. Elections; Voter Registration Records. The following information set out in state voter registration records is confidential and is not open to public inspection: the voter's age or date of birth; Social Security number, driver's license number; voter identification number; place of birth and signature. In addition a voter may elect in writing to keep the voter's residential address confidential and not open to public inspection if the voter provides a separate mailing address. Information may be released with consent of the voter, pursuant to court order, or in certain other limited cases. AS 15.07.195.

10. Fish and Game.

a. Fish Tickets. Records required by Fish and Game to be filed concerning the landings of fish, shellfish or fishery products, and annual statistical reports of buyers and processors required by regulation of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game are confidential. Records or reports received by the department that do not identify individual fishermen, buyers or processors or the specific locations where fish have been taken are public information. AS 16.05.815.

b. Crab Surveys. Crab stock abundance survey information that reveals crab catch for sampling locations is confidential until the close of the season. AS 16.05.815(c).

c. Wildlife Information. Except as specified, the Department of Fish and Game must keep confidential for 25 years (1) personal information contained in fish and wildlife harvest and usage data; and (2) department records concerning (A) telemetry radio frequencies of monitored species, (B) denning sites, (C) nest locations of raptors that require special attention, (D) specific capture sites used for wildlife research and management, and (E) the specific location of fish and wildlife species. AS 16.05.815(d).

d. Commercial Fishing Loan Information. Information supplied by individuals to secure state loans for commercial fishing gear or vessels can be released with authorization of the borrower; by negative implication, it is confidential. AS 16.10.353.

e. Aquaculture Records. Records concerning aquatic farm stocks or production, prices, and harvests of aquatic farm products and wild stocks, and annual statistical reports of individual aquatic farms or hatcheries required by statute or by a regulation adopted by the department are confidential and may not be released by the department, except that the department may release the records and reports, with limited exceptions. AS 16.40.155.

f. Sport Fishing Data. Information collected by the Department of Fish and Game from sport fishing guides, including identification of vessels used in providing sport fishing guide services; the amount of fishing effort, catch and harvest by clients of a sport fishing guide; the locations fished; and other information that the department or board requires by regulation is confidential to the extent provided under AS 16.05.815. AS 16.40.280

g. Limited Entry Permit Holder Information. Documents submitted to the Limited Entry Commission containing information relating to an individual's personal finances and information supplied by individuals for research purposes, produced in response to requests by the commission, are not subject to public disclosure. AS 16.43.975.

11. Food and Drugs — Controlled Substances. AS 17.30.155 prohibits disclosure by medical practitioners or medical researchers of the name or identity of a patient or research subject. While the language of this subsection is very broad, the context clearly indicates it applies to dispensing controlled substances and research and education to prevent and deter abuse of controlled substances. AS 17.30.100 prohibits the Department of Public Safety, which enforces this chapter, from releasing the same information.

12. Decedents’ Estates, Guardianships, Transfers, Trusts and Health Care

a.  Establishment of Wills and Trusts Validity Before Death.  A person with requisite interest can petition the court to determine before a testator's death that a will is valid will subject only to subsequent revocation or modification, or to determine before a settlor's death that a trust is valid and enforceable under its terms. AS 13.12.530, 13.12.535A notice of the filing of such a petition, a summary of all formal proceedings on the petition, and a dispositional order or a modification or termination of a dispositional order relating to such proceeding shall be available for public inspection. AS13.12.585(a).  With limited exceptions provided in section (b) of the statute, all other information contained in the court records relating to a proceeding is confidential, although for good cause shown, the court may order confidential records to be made available to a person who is not listed in section (b). AS13.12.585(c).

b.  Guardianships. There are laws that provide for appointment of a guardian for someone who is incompetent to handle his or her own affairs, for a variety of reasons. Parts of the record in such proceedings are open, and parts are closed. Specifically, a notice of the filing of the petition, a summary of all formal proceedings, and a "dispositional order" or an order modifying or terminating a "dispositional order," all must be open to public inspection. All other information in the court files relating to such proceedings is confidential, and not open to public inspection. If a court finds that a petition was filed maliciously, frivolously or without just cause, the entire record can be sealed, including those items otherwise open to public inspection. In such a case, the information may be disclosed only "for good cause shown." AS 13.26.013.

Statements of wards, or respondents in cases seeking appointment of a guardian, made in the course of evaluations, examinations and treatment, are confidential. AS 13.26.109.

Public Guardian. The public guardian has the same powers and duties with respect to the public guardian's wards and protected persons as a private guardian or conservator. 13.26.380(a). The records required to be kept and maintained in connection with the public guardian’s duties under the statute section are confidential and are not subject to inspection or copying under the public records act unless the records are relevant to an investigation or proceeding involving the public guardian or a case in which the public guardian provided guardianship or conservatorship services. 13.26.380(c).

c. Wills. By law, individuals may deposit their wills with the superior court for safekeeping, and these wills remain confidential. AS 13.12.515.

13. Health, Safety, Social Services.

a. Access to health care records. The Department of Health and Social Services may inspect health care records that would identify cancers, birth defects or infectious disease required to be reported, and may conduct research using such health care data. Data obtained or a records inspected under this section that identify a particular individual are confidential, and are not subject to inspection or copying under the public records act. AS 18.05.042.

b. Disclosure of Medical Records. Limited disclosure of medical records for purposes of providing or evaluating emergency medical care may be made so long as disclosure is limited to that considered necessary for these purposes, and no further disclosure of confidential records is made to unauthorized persons. AS 18.08.087.

c. Blood Testing of Sex Offenders. Blood tests for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases that a court orders an alleged sex offender to undergo are to be maintained as confidential, except by the test subject, and except for disclosures to the victim as necessary to obtain medical or psychological care or advice, ensure health or safety of relatives and associates, or to pursue civil remedies. AS 18.15.310.

d. Medical Information Security Safeguards. The Department of Health and Social Services collects information concerning a variety of reportable diseases, contagious and otherwise, and epidemiological information, and is required to acquire, use, disclose and store identifiable health information in a confidential manner that safeguards the security of the information, and maintain the information in a physically and technologically secure environment. AS 18.15.365. Bloodborne pathogens test results of an adult or juvenile offender or a prisoner are confidential and may not be disclosed except as provided by law and as needed for the treatment or medical care of an adult or juvenile offender or a prisoner specific to a bloodborne pathogen-related illness. AS 18.15.440.

e. Judicial Bypass for Minor Seeking Abortion. A pregnant, unmarried, unemancipated woman under 17 years of age, who wishes to have an abortion without the consent of a parent, guardian or custodian may file a complaint in the superior court requesting the issuance of an order authorizing the minor to consent to the abortion without such consent. This judicial bypass hearing, and all related proceedings, must be conducted in a manner that preserves the anonymity of the complainant. The complaint and all other papers and records relating to the action or any related appeal are confidential, and not disclosable as public records. AS 18.16.030.

f. Hospitals. AS 18.20.090, concerning confidentiality of information obtained by the Department of Health and Social Services in connection with licensing hospitals and other health care facilities in a manner that identifies an individual or hospital was repealed.  Related issues are addressed in AS 47.32.180, see subsection II.B.32(s) below.

g. Health Care Review. State law establishes certain "review organizations," including the State Medical Board, hospital governing bodies and others, that are to gather and review information relating to the care and treatment of patients. The purposes for doing this include, among others, evaluating and improving health care, reducing morbidity or mortality, work or cost controls, develop professional standards and norms of care, and ruling on controversies and disputes involving insurance carriers, licensing boards and others. All data and information acquired by a review organization must be held by it in confidence. However, information, documents or records otherwise available from original sources are not immune because they were presented during proceedings of a review organization. AS 18.23.030.

h. Vital Statistics. It is unlawful for a person to permit inspection of, or disclose information contained in, vital statistics records, or to copy or issue a copy of all or part of such records, except as authorized by the statute or regulations. Notwithstanding AS 40.25.120, when 100 years have elapsed from the date of birth, or 50 years after a death, marriage, divorce, dissolution or annulment, these records become public. AS 18.50.310(a), (f).

i. Adoptions, Legitimations. The name and address of a biological parent of an adopted person are not disclosable to the public, AS 18.50.500(b), and the original birth certificate (which can be superseded by a new certificate in adoption or legitimation proceedings) and evidence of adoption are not subject to public inspection. AS 18.50.220(b)(1). In the case of legitimation, the original certificate and evidence of legitimation are not subject to public inspection. AS 18.50.220(b)(1).

j. Workplace Safety Inspections. State law provides for an employee or employee representative to accompany a Department of Labor and Workplace Development representative during a physical inspection of a work place. The law further makes confidential any comments made by an employee or employee representative, to the labor department representative, during an inspection relating to an employer's compliance with occupational health and safety laws. It also keeps the name of any such employee or employee representative confidential. AS 18.60.087. Likewise, the law provides for an employee who believes that a health or safety violation exists that threatens physical harm or imminent danger to request a special inspection by giving notice to the labor department. The department must keep the complaining employee's name, and the names of employees referred to in the notice, confidential unless expressly agreed otherwise by the employee giving notice. AS 18.60.088. Information obtained by the labor department, in connection with health or safety inspections, that contain or might reveal trade secrets, must be kept confidential. AS 18.60.099.

k. Radiation Protection. The Department of Health and Social Services is given broad powers to "develop comprehensive policies and programs for the evaluation and determination of hazards associated with radiation sources and their amelioration;" and to gather information, conduct investigations and review records relating to possible radiation hazards and related problems. The law provides that the department "may keep confidential" data obtained as a result of registration or investigation. AS 18.60.475(b).

l. Sex Offender Registration. The Alaska Sex Offender Registration Act (ASORA) requires persons convicted of sex offenses or child kidnapping to register and periodically re-register with the Alaska Department of Corrections, the Alaska State Troopers, or local police, and to disclose detailed personal information, including that specified in AS 12.63.010, some of which is not otherwise public. The Department of Public Safety is required to maintain a central registry of sex offenders and child kidnappers. AS 18.65.087. Most of the disclosed information is publicly disseminated and is published by the state on the internet. Specifically, AS 18.65.087(b) provides that information about a sex offender or child kidnapper that is contained in the central registry, including sets of fingerprints, is confidential and not subject to public disclosure except as to the sex offender's or child kidnapper's name, aliases, address, photograph, physical description, description of motor vehicles, license numbers of motor vehicles, and vehicle identification numbers of motor vehicles, place of employment, date of birth, crime for which convicted, date of conviction, place and court of conviction, length and conditions of sentence, and a statement as to whether the offender or kidnapper is in compliance with requirements for reporting residency and other information, or cannot be located. The department, at least quarterly, shall compile a list of those persons with a duty to register under who have failed to register, whose addresses cannot be verified, or who otherwise cannot be located. The department shall post this list on the Internet and request the public's assistance in locating these persons. 18.65.087(g). The name, address, and other identifying information of a member of the public who makes an information request under this section is not a public record under the Public Records Act. AS 18.65.087(e). In general, courts have upheld ASORA against legal challenges, although courts have found the registration requirement unconstitutional with respect to two classes of convicted offenders, those convicted and sentenced before the effective date of ASORA, and those whose convictions had been set aside pursuant to a suspended imposition of sentencing, before the effective date of the act.  These decisions are discussed in more detail in [Open Records] §IV.N.12, infra.

m. Concealed Handgun Permits. The list of concealed handgun permittees, and all applications, permits and renewals are not public records, and may only be used for law enforcement purposes. AS 18.65.770.

n. Domestic Violence Fatality Review Teams. Domestic violence fatality review teams established by the commissioner of public safety in various areas of the state, or by a municipality, investigate fatal incidents of domestic violence, and incidents of domestic violence involving serious physical injury The review may include a review of the confidential and other records of a department or agency of the state or a municipality relating to the domestic violence incident. The team and each member of it must preserve the confidentiality of any records examined. AS 18.66.400(a). Except for a public report issued by a domestic violence fatality review team that does not contain confidential information, records or other information collected by a team or any member of a team related to duties is confidential and not subject to public disclosure under the public records act. AS 18.66.400(d).

o. Violent Crimes Compensation. An application for compensation from the Violent Crimes Compensation Board, and personally identifying information relating to an applicant for compensation, are confidential records and may not be released by the board. 18.67.030(c).

p. Public Defender Records. Although AS 18, chapter 85, establishing the Public Defender Agency, does not expressly address confidentiality, it is implicit that information communicated to Public Defender Agency employees is confidential in the same manner as if they were made to private attorneys. Compare AS 18.85.100(a); AS 18.85.120(d).

q. Medical Marijuana Registry. The confidential registry of patients who have applied for and are entitled to receive a registry identification card according to the criteria set out in this statute. The registry and the information contained within it are not subject to disclosure under the public records act. AS 17.37.010.

14. Human Rights Commission. Laws governing the State Commission for Human Rights require confidentiality of records of investigation, and information obtained during an investigation, into alleged violation of anti-discrimination laws. Also, the Commission may not make public the name of a person initiating a complaint or of a person alleged to have committed the unlawful practice or act. There are provisions for disclosure of information, through the parties, when and if the matter proceeds to administrative or judicial hearings. AS 18.80.115.

The state, employers, labor organizations and employment agencies must maintain records on age, sex and race to assist Human Rights Agencies in administering civil rights laws and regulations. These records themselves are confidential, but statistical information compiled from records on age, sex and race are available for public disclosure. AS 18.80.220(b).

15. Insurance.

The records and insurance filings in the office of the director of insurance, which include, among others, records of official transactions, examinations, investigations and proceedings, are open to public inspection except as provided in the insurance code. AS 21.06.060(a). Among the documents and information submitted to or obtained by the director that are deemed confidential are personally identifiable consumer information, information or records shown to be trade secrets or proprietary business information, certain  analysis ratios and examination synopses. Documents designated as confidential are exempt from disclosure under the public records act. However, the director of insurance may release otherwise confidential information and records for public inspection if the person who provided the information consents or releases incomplete or misleading information on the same topic to the public. AS 21.06.060(b)(4). The director may withhold information or records from public inspection for as long as the director finds the withholding is necessary to protect a person against unwarranted injury, or is in the public interest. AS 21.06.060(g).

a. Examinations. The state insurance code provides for examinations of insurance companies and agents, managers, brokers, producers, adjusters and promoters. Those examined and their employees and officers must produce or provide the insurance director with free access to their books, accounts, records, documents, files, information, assets and other matters in their possession or control relating to the subject of the examination, including all computer and other recordings relating to the property, assets, business and affairs of the person being examined. The process allows the one being examined to seek extensions and file rebuttals, provides for review by the director of the entire package, and prohibits disclosure of a preliminary examination report. Information and records obtained by the director under the statutes providing for examinations are confidential. The director may publish an examination report or a summary of it in a newspaper or electronic media in the state if the director determines that the publication is in the public interest. AS 21.06.150(g). Comparing 1992 and 1990 amendments to AS 21.06.150, and AS 21.06.060 (which makes insurance records presumptively public), it appears that the insurance director no longer has the discretion to withhold disclosure of investigation (as opposed to examination) reports.

b. Managed Care Insurance Plans. Covered persons are required to provide information for various purposes relating to managed care health insurance plans, including to secure treatment or resolve disputes. Medical and financial information in the possession of a managed care entity (which, under AS 21.07.250 is defined to include HMOs) regarding an applicant or a current or former person covered by a managed care plan is confidential and is not subject to public disclosure. The prohibition against disclosure does not apply in certain situations, including when the individual whose identity is disclosed gives oral, electronic or written consent to the disclosure, when the information is disclosed at the written consent of the covered person, or when disclosure is required by law. AS 21.07.040.

c. Reports Concerning Material Transactions. Domestic insurers must file reports with the director disclosing material acquisitions and dispositions of assets and material nonrenewals, cancellations or revisions of ceded reinsurance agreements as defined by the statute. Such reports obtained by or disclosed to the director are generally confidential, not disclosable without consent of the submitting insurer. However, the director may publish all or any part of such reports upon a determination, after notice to the insurer, that the interest of policyholders, shareholders or the public will be served by publication. AS 21.09.300.

d. Reports About Remedying Concerns With Risk-Based Capital. Insurers operating in the state must submit to the Director of Insurance a report of their risk-based capital covering the previous calendar year, if required by the director. Also, certain events (variously prioritized under the categories of "company action level event," "regulatory action level event," "authorized control level event," and "mandatory control level event") may trigger an obligation of the insurer to file a plan containing specified information identifying the conditions that contribute to the level event, proposals for corrective action, financial projections, and other information. These reports and plans, the results or report of an examination or analysis of an insurer performed under this chapter, and a corrective order issued by the director are confidential. They may not be made public by the director or another person without the prior written consent of the insurer who is the subject of the report, plan, analysis or order. If the director, after giving the insurer and its affiliates who would be affected by publication of the information notice and opportunity to be heard, determines that the interests of policy holders, shareholders, or the public will be served by the publication of the information, a director may publish all or part of the information in the manner the director considers appropriate. AS 21.14.090.

e. Assets and liabilities of insurers. A life insurer doing business in the state must annually submit to the director an opinion of a qualified actuary as to whether the reserves and related actuarial items held in support of a policy or contract are computed appropriately, are based on assumptions that satisfy contractual provisions, are consistent with prior reported amounts, and comply with the applicable laws of the state. A memorandum in support of an actuarial opinion and other supporting material provided by an insurer to the director are confidential and may not be made public. Once a portion of the memorandum or other material is cited by the insurer in its marketing, is cited before a governmental agency other than the state insurance department, or is released by the company to the news media, the remainder of the confidential memorandum or other material is no longer confidential. AS 21.18.110(m), (s).

f. Insurance Holding Companies. Certain filings must be made before a person can attempt to acquire or merge with an insurance company. This filing must contain detailed information about the proposed transaction, including a description of the consideration to be used to accomplish the merger or acquisition of control, and the identity of persons furnishing the consideration. However, if the source of the consideration is a loan made in the lender's ordinary course of business, the director of insurance must keep the identity of the lender confidential, if the person filing the statement asks that this be done. AS 21.22.020.

At various times, events have raised questions about the solvency and conduct of certain insurance companies doing business in Alaska, and of the oversight responsibilities of the Division of Insurance. In fact, state law requires disclosure by insurance companies to the Director of Insurance of a great deal of information. AS 21.22.060 requires every insurer that is authorized to do business in Alaska and that is a member of an insurance holding company system to register with the director and to provide current information about its capital structure, general financial condition, ownership and management, the identity of every member of the insurance holding company system, and information about various agreements, relationships and transactions concerning loans, investments, purchases, sales or exchanges of securities, purchases, sales, transactions not in the ordinary course of business, guaranties, management and service contracts, cost sharing arrangements, and reinsurance agreements, with exceptions for certain insubstantial transactions. AS 21.22.060. The Director of Insurance also has the power under certain circumstances to order a registered insurer to produce records, books or other information or papers in the possession of the insurer or its affiliates necessary to ascertain the financial condition or legality of conduct to the insurer. AS 21.22.110. The law provides that all information and documents obtained by or disclosed to the director in the course of an examination or investigation made under AS 21.22.110, all information reported under AS 21.22.060, and all information required to be provided before an acquisition of control is approved under AS 21.22.065, shall be "given confidential treatment" and not made public, without prior written consent of the insurer to which it pertains. AS 21.22.120. However, the law also allows the director to determine that the interests of the public (or policyholders or shareholders) would be best served by publication of the information, and in such case to do so in any manner in which the director considers appropriate after giving the insurer that would be affected by publication notice and the opportunity to be heard on the question. Id. Any reporter who is working on a story involving the insurance industry and needs this kind of detailed information about insurance companies might do well to make a pitch to the director of insurance asking that the information be disclosed in the public interest.

g. Records of Licensees. Licensees of the Division of Insurance must keep detailed records of insurance transactions, including records of all insurance contracts, commissions, investigations and adjustments. AS 21.27.350(a). In addition, they must keep current accounting and financial records. AS 21.27.350(d). The director of the Division of Insurance can review any of these records. AS 21.27.350(e) provides that "accounting and financial records inspected or examined under this section are confidential when in the possession of the division." By negative implication, the records of insurance transactions are not confidential, and this reading is supported by a comparison of the 1987 and 1992 amendments to section .350. Insurance producers, agents, administrators, brokers, adjusters and managers are generally required to be licensed. Appointments of insurance producers, managing general agents and reinsurance intermediary managers representing companies continue until such appointments are terminated in writing, and when someone is accused of engaging in licensed activities after termination, the termination must be submitted to the director. The statement of reasons for termination is confidential and not subject to inspection as a public record. AS 21.27.110(f). Third-party administrators representing insurers are required to maintain separate records for each insurer. The director has access to all books, bank accounts, and records of third-party administrators, but any trade secrets contained in these books and records, including identities and addresses of policyholders and certificate holders, are confidential. AS 21.27.650(a)(5)(F).

h. Surplus Lines Insurance. In many instances, insurance brokers will go to carriers outside the state and not admitted to transact insurance in the state, in order to place insurance where the funds of the primary carrier would not be sufficient for it to write the insurance. Such surplus lines insurance brokers must file regular written reports that include various information including the name and address of the insurer, the identity of each insurer and percentage of coverage, description of the subject and location of risk, and so forth. These reports are confidential, although the brokers must also file monthly affidavits, open to public inspection, regarding efforts to place the coverage with "admitted insurers" and the results of those efforts. AS 21.34.080. These affidavits must state that the insured was informed before surplus lines insurance was placed that the surplus lines insurer is not licensed in Alaska, is not subject to the state's supervision, and that in the event of insolvency losses will not be covered under the Alaska Insurance Guaranty Association Act. Id. The insurance code also provides for the formation of a surplus lines association of surplus lines brokers to provide, among other things, verification of taxes and fees paid and of all surplus lines coverages written by its members to determine whether the coverages comply with state laws and regulations. A provision that examinations to accomplish those functions are confidential was deleted in 1992. AS 21.34.090. There is a further provision for the Director of Insurance to examine the surplus lines association at least every three years, and to examine its books, records, accounts, documents and agreements governing its operation. There is no provision in the statute that makes the Director of Insurance's examination confidential.

i. Insurance Fraud. Alaska law frowns on insurance fraud. Among other things, the state requires insurance carriers who have reason to believe that a fraudulent claim has been made against them to send a report to the Director of Insurance disclosing information about that. Any papers, reports, documents, and evidence received under this law, or an investigation arising out of information received under this law, are not subject to public inspection "for so long as the director considers confidentiality to be in the public interest or reasonably necessary to complete an investigation or protect the person investigated from unwarranted injury." AS 21.36.400.

j. Rating Organizations. One of those "invisible hands" that controls such things as our insurance premiums is a thing called the "rating organization." It is an organization that exists to provide information about the rates to insurance companies to help determine what the appropriate rates for premiums should be, and is supported primarily if not entirely by insurance companies that are members of the organization. The insurance code states that a rating organization can provide for the examination of policies, daily reports, binders, renewal certificates, endorsements or other evidences of insurance, or the cancellation thereof, and may make reasonable rules governing their submission. All information submitted for examination by the rating organization is confidential. AS 21.39.060(f). (Note, however, that AS 21.39.090, entitled "Rights of Insureds," allows insureds affected by a rate made by the rating organization to "all pertinent information concerning the rate.")

k. Small Employer Health Insurance Plans. A small employer insurer is required to maintain a complete and detailed description of its rating practices and renewal underwriting practices. The information is available to the director of insurance, but is otherwise confidential. AS 21.56.120(c).

l. Title Insurance Company Rates. Statements of title insurance companies making a rate filing, setting out the basis on which the rate was determined, and justifications for the rate filing, are open to public inspection; however, information that can be used to identify the experience of a particular title insurance limited producer is confidential. AS 21.66.380(b).

m. Reinsurance Agreements. Domestic stock insurers and domestic mutual insurers may reinsure all or part of their insurance in force with another insurer by a reinsurance agreement. Such reinsurance agreements are confidential per AS 21.060.060. See AS 21.69.610, AS 21.69.620.

n. Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association. The director of insurance is required to present to the Board of Governors of the Alaska Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association certain ratios and listings of companies that the Board may use to carry out its duties and responsibilities under provisions relating to prevention of insolvencies. This information must be kept confidential by the Board until it is made public by the director. AS 21.79.100(d). The Board may make reports and recommendations to the director relating to the solvency, liquidation, rehabilitation or conservation of a member insurer or the solvency of insurers who apply to transact insurance business in the state; the director and the board shall keep the reports and recommendations confidential. The Association is required to keep records of meetings relating to its activities, and meetings or records of the Association may be open to the public upon a majority vote of the Board. AS 21.79.040(b). Absent a court order, these records may only be made public under AS 21.70.040(b) after termination of a liquidation, rehabilitation or conservation proceeding that involves the impaired or insolvent insurer, or after the insurer is no longer impaired or insolvent. AS 21.79.110(b).

o. Alaska Insurance Guaranty Association Act. Alaska has created a nonprofit incorporated legal entity known as the Alaska Insurance Guaranty Association, the purpose of which is to provide a mechanism for payment and to avoid financial loss to claimants or policyholders because of the insolvency of an insurance company, to assist in the detection and prevention of insurer insolvencies, and to provide an association to assess the cost of this protection among insurers. The association has a board of directors that is selected by member insurers subject to approval of the commissioner of insurance. The board is under a legal duty to notify the commissioner of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development of information indicating that a member insurer may be insolvent or in a financial condition hazardous to the policyholders or to the public. The majority of the board of directors may request the commissioner to order an examination of such an insurance company. The law provides that the examination report under this section is to be treated like other examination reports. It also provides that in no event may the examination report be released to the board of directors before it is released to the public, and that the request for an examination shall be kept on file by the commissioner but it shall not be open to public inspection before the release of the examination report to the public. AS 21.80.110.

p. Fraternal Benefit Societies. Provisions concerning annual statements, annual valuation certificates, and examinations or investigations of a fraternal benefit society, including public disclosure of related statements and reports by the director of insurance previously found in AS 21.84.340-390 have been repealed, apparently without being relocated elsewhere in the statutes.

q. Health Maintenance Organizations. "Health maintenance organizations," which undertake to provide or arrange for basic health care services to enrollees on a prepaid basis, come within the definition of “managed care” entities under AS 21.07.250.  Records concerning these HMOs are public except for trade secrets, privileged, confidential commercial or financial information as determined by the director, and information required on annual reports showing the number, amount and disposition of malpractice claims settled during the year by the HMO, AS 21.86.270, and information concerning malpractice claims settled. AS 21.86.100(b). AS 21.86.280, providing that data or information provided to an HMO pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment or health of an enrollee or applicant is generally confidential, was repealed. It is not clear to what extent this was intended to make available information previously confidential; note that medical and financial information in the possession of a managed care entity regarding an applicant or a current or former person covered by a managed care plan is confidential and is not subject to public disclosure. AS 21.07.040(a).

r. Provision of Prepaid Hospital and Medical Services. Detailed rate justifications, including a rate formula, filed by hospital and medical service corporations providing prepaid services to subscribers. AS 21.087.190(b).

s. Arson. AS 21.96.050(f)(1) appears to allow fire departments or other law enforcement agencies to keep confidential certain information regarding ongoing arson investigations.

16. Labor and Employment.

a. Drug testing. Test results and related communications relevant to an employer's drug or alcohol impairment testing program are confidential, with limited exceptions including one affording access by the tested employee or prospective employee. AS 23.10.660.

b. Employment Security Act Data. The Department of Labor and Workplace Development obtains information from employing units and individuals in the course of administering the provisions of Alaska's Employment Security Act, to determine benefit rights of individuals. This information is confidential and may not be disclosed or made open to public inspection in a manner that reveals the identity of the individual or employing unit, except for disclosures specifically authorized. The exceptions include the release of statistical and other public reports based on information obtained by the Department, so long as the reports do not reveal wage and payroll data for an employing unit or the name or number identifying an individual. The requirements of this section concerning the confidentiality of information obtained in the course of administering this chapter apply to officers and employees of a state or federal agency to whom the Department of Labor and Workplace Development provides information as authorized by this section. AS 23.20.110(a), (g) - (n). The confidentiality requirements of section .110 do not apply to disclosure of decisions and records on appeal in any matter before the department as long as the federal social security number of the claimant and the employer's federal employer identification number and federal social security number are redacted or removed before disclosure is made.  AS 23.20.110(q).

c. Workers Compensation Records. Medical or rehabilitation records, and the employee's name, address, social security number, electronic mail address, and telephone number contained on any record, in an employee's file maintained by the Workers Compensation Board are not public records subject to public inspection and copying under AS 40.25. See AS 23.30.107. An employee may elect to authorize the disclosure of the employee's name, address, social security number, electronic mail address, and telephone number contained in a record described in (b) of this section by signing a declaration on a form provided by the division. AS 23.30.107(d). The Worker's Compensation Appeals Commission within the Department of Labor and Workforce Development maintains, indexes and makes available for public inspection the final administrative decisions and orders of the commission and of the board. The chair of the commission may review and circulate among the other members of the relevant commission appeal panel the drafts of the panel's formal decisions and decisions upon reconsideration. These drafts are confidential documents, not subject to disclosure. AS 23.30.008(b). Papers, reports, documents and other evidence related to an investigation of fraudulent or misleading acts relating to workers' compensation matters are confidential, and the papers, reports, documents and evidence received in connection with investigations, or otherwise relating to submissions, hearings, or other matters concerning fraud and misleading acts are not subject to inspection so long as the director considers confidentiality to be in the public interest or reasonably necessary to complete an investigation or protect the person investigated from unwarranted injury. AS 23.30.280(g).

d. Vocational Rehabilitation and Other Labor Department Records. AS 23.15.190 prohibits most communication of any list of names of, or information concerning, persons applying for or receiving vocational rehabilitation. Chapter 20 of the labor laws governs unemployment compensation and insurance related matters. It requires reporting of a variety of information from both employers and individuals in order to administer the unemployment laws, and provides that information obtained from either the employer or individual as to benefit rights of an individual is confidential and may not be disclosed to the public in a manner that reveals the identity of the individual or employer. AS 23.20.110.

e. Collective Negotiations By Physicians.

Collective Negotiations By Physicians. Physicians are permitted to engage in collective negotiations of certain terms and conditions with health benefit plans, subject to review of matters and documents relating to the negotiations by the Attorney General. Documents relating to such a collective negotiation described in the relevant statute that are in the possession of the Department of Law are confidential and not open to public inspection. AS 23.50.020(k).

16. Legislature.

a. Legislative Research. Requests by members of the state legislature for research and bill drafting services of the Legislative Affairs Agency are confidential. AS 24.20.100.

b. Reports of the Legislative Audit Division. The Legislative Audit Division has access to the books, accounts, reports and other records of every state agency, whether they are confidential or not. Audit records of the Legislative Audit Division, including audit work papers and other related supporting documentation, are confidential. AS 24.20.301. Audit reports are confidential unless and until the report has been approved for release. Id. The Legislative Budget and Audit Committee must approve reports from the audit division by a majority vote of the committee before the release. The committee must file copies of its approved audit reports including any committee recommendations with the governor, the agency concerned, and the legislature. The reports are open for public inspection after their release to the legislature. AS 24.20.311.

c. Ombudsman. The ombudsman, a legislative employee, is required to maintain confidentiality with respect to all matters and the identities of the complainants or witnesses coming before him or her except insofar as disclosures may be necessary to enable him or her to carry out the duties of the job and to support his or her recommendations. The ombudsman may not disclose a confidential record obtained from an agency. AS 24.55.160(b). Before giving an opinion or recommendation that is critical of an agency or person, the ombudsman must consult with that agency or person. The ombudsman may make a preliminary opinion or recommendation available to the agency or person for review, but the preliminary opinion or recommendation is confidential and may not be disclosed to the public by the agency or person. AS 24.55.180. A report of the ombudsman's opinions and recommendations is at least initially confidential. It generally must be given to the agency under investigation, but the agency may not disclose it to the public. AS 24.55.190(c). Once notice is given that the investigation is over (to the agency, and, if the investigation was in response to a complaint, to the complainant), the ombudsman may present the report, with any reply, to the governor, the legislature, a grand jury, the public, or any of these. AS 24.55.200.

d. Homeland Security. The Homeland Security and Emergency Management Subcommittee was established as a subcommittee of the Joint Armed Services Committee, to review confidential activities, plans, reports, recommendations and other materials of the Alaska division of homeland security and emergency management established in AS 26.20.025, or of other agencies or persons, relating to matters concerning homeland security and civil defense, emergencies or disasters in the state or to the state's preparedness for or ability to mount a prompt response to matters concerning homeland security and civil defense, emergencies or disasters. AS 24.20.680. TPursuant to section .680, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives may condition service on the subcommittee by members upon the execution of appropriate confidentiality agreements by the members or by persons assisting those members. Information and documents received by members serving on the subcommittee or persons assisting members under a confidentiality agreement as described in this subsection were not public records and were not subject to public disclosure under the public records act. AS 24.20.680(d).  AS 24.20.680 was repealed in 2009.  Sec. 23-24, ch. 179 SLA 2004. The adjutant general of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs was charged with proposing any appropriate legislation relating to this provision; as of the 2011 ed., sec. .680 had not been reinstated.

Note also that a new category of records has been added to exempt from disclosure under the public records act records or information pertaining to a plan, program or procedures for establishing, maintaining or restoring security in the state, or to a detailed description or evaluation of systems, facilities or infrastructure in the state, but only to the extent that the production of the records or information (A) could reasonably be expected to interfere with the implementation or enforcement of the security plan, program or procedures; (B) would disclose confidential guidelines for investigations or enforcement and the disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law; or (C) could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of an individual or to present a real and substantial risk to the public health and welfare. AS 40.25.120(a)(10).

e. Legislative Ethics. The Alaska legislature has created a Select Committee on Legislative Ethics, which now includes public members. One of the things that this committee can do is to investigate complaints concerning alleged violations of laws and rules regarding legislative ethics, including violations of "open meetings" requirements. All complaints are investigated on a confidential basis. AS 24.60.170(d). An opinion issued under this section must be issued with sufficient deletions to prevent disclosing the identity of the person or persons involved. Advisory opinion discussions and deliberations are confidential, unless the requester and anyone else named in the request who is covered by this chapter waives confidentiality. The committee's final vote on the advisory opinion is a public record. AS 24.60.160(b). The Select Committee on Legislative Ethics maintains a public online electronic database of advisory opinions interpreting the Legislative Ethics Act. AS 24.60.160(b).

The complaint and all documents produced or disclosed as a result of the committee investigation are confidential and not subject to inspection by the public, although these confidentiality provisions may be waived by the subject of the complaint. AS 24.60.170(l). Proceedings of the ethics committee relating to complaints before it are confidential until the committee determines that there is probable cause to believe that a violation has occurred. Except to the extent that the confidentiality provisions are waived by the subject of the complaint, the person filing an ethics complaint shall keep confidential the fact that the person has filed the ethics complaint as well as the contents of the complaint filed, and if the committee finds that a complainant has violated any confidentiality provision, the committee shall immediately dismiss the complaint. AS 24.60.070(l). If the committee determines that the allegations of an ethics complaint, if proven, would not give rise to a violation, that the complaint is frivolous on its face, that there is insufficient credible information that can be uncovered to warrant further investigation by the committee, or that the committee's lack of jurisdiction is apparent on the face of the complaint, the committee shall dismiss the complaint and shall notify the complainant and the subject of the complaint of the dismissal. A proceeding conducted to make this preliminary decision, documents that are part of such a proceeding, and a dismissal for these reasons are confidential as provided in (l) of this section unless the subject of the complaint waives confidentiality as provided in that subsection. AS 24.60.170(c).

If in the course of an investigation or probable cause determination the committee finds evidence of probable criminal activity, the committee must transmit a statement and factual findings limited to that activity to the appropriate law enforcement agency. If the committee finds evidence of a probable violation of AS 15.13 (governing state election campaigns), the committee must transmit a statement to that effect and factual findings limited to the probable violation to the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

All meetings of the committee before the determination of probable cause are closed to the public. A person charged by the committee with a probable ethics violation after the initial stages of this process may engage in discovery, and the committee may adopt procedures that impose reasonable restrictions on the release of information that the subject of a complaint acquires from the committee in the course of discovery, or on information obtained by use of the committee's authority, in order to protect the privacy of persons not under investigation to whom the information pertains. However, the committee may not impose restrictions on the release of information by the subject of the complaint unless the complainant has agreed to be bound by similar restrictions and has not made public the information contained in the complaint, information about the complaint, or the fact of filing the complaint. AS 24.60.170(i).

If the committee determines after investigation that there is not probable cause to believe that the subject of the complaint has violated the ethics law, the committee shall dismiss the complaint or portions of it as to which there is no probable cause there was a violation. The committee must issue a decision explaining its dismissal. The committee's deliberations and vote on the dismissal order and decision are not open to the public or to the subject of the complaint. A copy of the dismissal order and decision must be sent to the complainant and to the subject of the complaint. Notwithstanding section .170(l), a dismissal order based on lack of probable cause and decision is open to inspection and copying by the public. AS 24.60.170(f).

All documents issued by the committee after a determination of probable cause to believe that the subject of a complaint has violated this chapter, including an opinion recommending corrective action under (g) of the ethics act and a formal charge under (h) of the statute, are subject to public inspection. Hearings of the committee under section (j) are open to the public, and documents presented at a hearing, and motions filed in connection with the hearing, are subject to inspection by the public. Deliberations of the committee following a hearing, deliberations on motions filed by the subject of a charge under subsection (h) of the act, and deliberations concerning appropriate sanctions are confidential. AS 24.60.170(l) and (m). Notwithstanding subsection (l) of the Ethics Act, a dismissal based on lack of probable cause is open to public inspection.

A legislator or legislative employee may not knowingly make an unauthorized disclosure of information that is made confidential by law and that the person acquired in the course of official duties. A person who violates this section is subject to a proceeding under AS 24.60.170 and may be subject to prosecution under AS 11.56.860 or another law. AS 24.60.060(e).

Legislators and legislative employees can participate in a number of state benefit or loan programs without having to disclose it. However, they are required to disclose information regarding non-qualifying programs. If the person believes that such disclosure would be an invasion of his or her constitutional right of privacy, and the committee so finds, the committee shall publish only the fact that a person participated in the program and the amount of benefit the unnamed person received. The committee shall maintain disclosure of the person's name as confidential, and may only use the disclosure in an Ethics Committee proceeding pursuant to AS 24.60.170. If the disclosure becomes part of the record of such a proceeding, the disclosure may be made public as provided in AS 24.60.170.

Legislators and legislative employees may not receive gifts worth $250 or more, or solicit, accept or receive gifts with any monetary value from lobbyists during a legislative session. Certain gifts and benefits are not considered violations of this section, but some of them must still be disclosed. One of these categories is gifts that are not connected to the recipient's legislative status. This category of gifts must be disclosed, but the disclosures are maintained confidentially, and may only be used by the Ethics Committee and its employees and contractors in the investigation of a possible violation. If the disclosures become part of the record of an Ethics Committee proceeding under AS 24.60.170, the confidentiality provisions of that section apply to the disclosures. AS 24.60.080(d).

The Ethics Committee is required to annually recommend to the Budget and Audit Committee the programs and loans to be audited by the division of legislative audit during the following year, and the scope of the audit. The report prepared by the division of legislative audit on its findings is confidential until it is released by the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee. AS 24.60.050(f).

f. Victims' Rights Advocate. The legislature has created within the legislative branch an office of victim's rights. Among other things, the victims' advocate may investigate complaints from crime victims that they have been denied their constitutional and other legal rights. Before giving an opinion or recommendation that is critical of a justice agency or person as the result of an investigation, the victims' advocate may make a preliminary opinion or recommendation available to the agency or person for review, but the preliminary opinion or recommendation is confidential and may not be disclosed to the public by the agency or person. AS 24.65.140. After conducting an investigation, the victims' advocate must report its opinion and recommendation to the justice agency being investigated if the advocate finds that the agency has denied the complainant crime victim's rights, with a request for a response concerning actions taken on the recommendations. The report thus provided to the agency is confidential, and may not be disclosed to the public by the agency. AS 24.65.150. Upon notice to the pertinent agency that the investigation has been concluded, and after receiving the written approval of the complainant to release the report, the victims' advocate may present the final opinion and recommendations, along with any reply made by the investigated agency, to the governor, the legislature, a grand jury, the public, or any of these. AS 24.65.160.

14. Library Records.

a. Patron Records. Records showing who checks out what from state, municipal, university, public school or other public libraries are confidential. AS 40.25.140.

b. State Library Distribution and Data Access Center. Within the state library, a state library distribution and data access center exists to promote the establishment of an orderly depository library and data index distribution and access system. Each state agency shall provide for accessibility through the center of all data published or compiled by it at public expense, including automated databases, unless the data is protected by the constitutional right of privacy or is of a type stated by law to be confidential or otherwise prohibited. State agencies are required, and municipal agencies and school districts are permitted, to deposit various other publications and research, subject to the same confidentiality provisions. AS 14.56.120-.130. The center may not engage in general public distribution of state publications or lists of publications, or the index of publications and research data, but shall make its holdings available to any person upon request, pursuant to regulations and payment of fees. AS 14.56.170.

15. Marital and Domestic Relations.

a. Child Custody. At any stage of a proceeding involving custody of a child the court may, if it is in the best interests of the child, close the proceeding to the public or order the court records closed to the public temporarily or permanently. The court may modify or vacate such an order at any time. AS 25.20.120. If the court finds in the context of a child custody dispute that a parent or child is a victim of domestic violence, the court may order that the address and telephone number of the parent or child be kept confidential in the proceedings. AS 25.20.060(d).

b. Adoption. The papers and records relating to an adoption or termination of parental rights under Alaska law that are part of the permanent record of a court are subject to inspection only upon consent of the court. The papers and records relating to an adoption or a termination of parental rights on file with the Department of Health and Social Services, an agency, or an individual are subject to inspection only with the consent of all interested persons or by order of a court for good cause shown. AS 25.23.150. Except for this or as otherwise provided in this section of the statutes, adoption records of the Bureau of Vital Statistics are subject to inspection only under the provisions of AS 18.50). Except as otherwise provided by law or as authorized in writing by the adopted child if 14 or more years of age, or by the adoptive parent or upon order of the court for good cause shown, a person may not disclose the identity or address of an adoptive parent, an adopted child, a child who is the subject of a proceeding under AS 25.23.180(c)(3) (providing for relinquishment and termination of parent and child relationships), or a biological parent whose parental rights have been terminated on grounds set out in that statute. Id.

c. Paternity; Financial Responsibility. In administrative proceedings by the Child Support Enforcement Agency to determine paternity and financial responsibility, the putative father can be required to provide financial information, and all financial information provided under such order must be held confidential by the agency in accordance with its regulations. AS 25.27.165(b)(2).

d. Communications with Victim Counselors. Confidential communications between a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault and a victim counselor are privileged. See AS 09.25.400, AS 18.66.200-.250.

16. Mining.

a. Assays. The state provides a public assay office to make assays and analyses of Alaskan ores and minerals. When an assay and analysis are made the person requesting them must state his or her permanent residence address, a description, as precise as possible, of the location where the sample was taken, and other information that the department may require that may be beneficial in evaluating the state's mineral resources. Information received and assay results shall be kept confidential for a period of two years. At the end of that period, the information results are open to public inspection and may be published by the department. AS 27.05.090.

b. Mining Loan Fund. A person who requests a loan pursuant to statute setting up the Mining Loan Fund must prepare and submit an operating plan describing the amount of the loan requested, the nature and location of the advanced mineral exploration, development, or mining for which the loan is requested, other resources and equipment available to the person and similar information. Information acquired by the state under this section is confidential. AS 27.09.030.

c. Mine Operations. Chapter 20 of the Alaska Statutes relating to mining requires various reports to be filed in order to ensure uniform safety standards, proper working conditions for mine employees, to provide for conservation of natural resources and other public interest issues relating to mining operations. AS 27.20.041 provides that the Department of Natural Resources shall keep confidential, upon the request of the person supplying the information, all reports and information required to be filed by regulations adopted under this chapter and all information deducible from filed information. The information may also be made available to the public in the form of statistical reports if the identity of any particular person or mine operator is not revealed by the reports.

d. Alaska Surface Coal Mining Control and Reclamation Act. Alaska law requires those engaged in coal mining to file various applications and reports. Copies of records, permits, inspection materials or other information obtained under this chapter relating to a surface coal mining and reclamation operation must be made "immediately and conveniently available to the public" except for information that is allowed to be kept confidential. AS 27.21.100. The information that may be kept confidential is in two categories. First, information gathered from the proposed permit area pertaining to coal seams, test boring, and so forth must be made available, except that information which relates only to the analysis of the chemical and physical properties of the coal, other than information regarding the mineral or elemental content that is potentially toxic in the environment, must be kept confidential. Second, information in the applicant's reclamation plan relating to competitive rights of the applicant, including but not limited to trade secrets, commercial or financial information, and geologic information specifically identified as confidential by the applicant and determined by the commissioner to be nonessential for public review must be kept confidential. Id. AS 27.21.200(c) also provides that the commissioner shall keep certain trade secret or other competitive information confidential when it is submitted by an applicant for a coal exploration permit.

e. Exploration Incentive Credits. The Commissioner of Natural Resources must grant exploration incentive credits to eligible entities, and those seeking to obtain a credit must provide a variety of information concerning their business activities. The exploration activity data provided for this purpose is confidential for 36 months after it is received by the Department, and the Department can be held liable in damages to those providing the exploration activity data if it is disclosed in violation of the statute. AS 27.30.090.

17. Motor Vehicles.

a. Vehicle Registration Records. The Department of Motor Vehicles is required to register vehicles and keep a record of all registrations. The DMV is permitted to make statistical data available to the public for a fee as prescribed in regulations, and "may also provide vehicle registration lists to the public for a fee as an electronic service or product under AS 40.25.115." By adding this latter provision in 1993, the legislature effectively converted motor vehicle registration records from being public records, which must be disclosed, to an electronic service or product, whose disclosure is permissive and may be conditioned upon payment of enhanced fees. AS 28.10.071.

b. Personal Information Contained in Motor Vehicle Records. A 1996 amendment to the Motor Vehicle Code generally prohibits the disclosure of personal information contained in motor vehicle records maintained by the DMV. Personal information means information that identifies a person, including a name, address, telephone number, and medical or disability information, but does not include information on vehicular accidents, driving- or equipment-related violations, driver's license or registration status, or a zip code. The prohibition is subject to numerous exceptions for particular uses, or by specified individuals. AS 28.10.505. One principle exception provides that personal information contained in an individual record may be disclosed, without regard to the intended use of the personal information. Disclosure is authorized if the Department provides in a clear and conspicuous manner on forms for issuance for or renewal of registrations, titles, or identification documents, notice that personal information collected by the Department may be disclosed to a person making a request for an individual record, and has provided in a clear and conspicuous manner on the form an opportunity for a person who is the subject of a record to prohibit disclosure. AS 28.10.505(e).

c. Driver's Licenses. Information and records maintained by the Department of Motor Vehicles, including driver's license applications, records of suspensions, revocations, cancellations, restrictions or denials of driver's licenses, accident reports and traffic court convictions, driver and traffic offenses, and other similar information, are confidential. AS 28.15.151(f). But an attorney general's opinion states that most, but not all, information pertaining to motor vehicles contained in Department of Transportation and Public Facilities files or the computer database is public information and should be released on request, except information on particular accidents including individual names and specific driver's license information, which must remain confidential. March 30, 1988, Op. Att'y Gen.

d. Intoxicated Operators. Information regarding the condition and treatment of persons who are required by the court system to report for treatment programs as a result of operating a motor vehicle, aircraft or watercraft while intoxicated, and that is forwarded to the court system, is confidential and may be used only for purposes of sentencing persons convicted of such offenses. AS 28.35.030(d). The same rule applies to persons who are required by the court to undergo treatment as the result of other drunk driving related offenses such as refusal to submit to chemical testing for blood alcohol content. See AS 28.35.032(h).

18. Oil and Gas Wells. The state requires various information to be filed concerning oil and gas wells. Most of the reports and information required to be filed under these laws are confidential for 24 months following the filing period set forth in the statute. (Reports and information required by the law must be filed within 30 days after the completion, abandonment, or suspension of a well.) The owner of the well can give permission to release the reports and information at an earlier date. Engineering, geologic and other information that is voluntarily filed with the commission must also be kept confidential if the person filing the information so requests. This confidentiality requirement is not applicable to information submitted with or as part of a petition for a commission order or to information submitted for or as part of a hearing before the commission.  AS 31.05.035.

Certain information is considered to be public, including well surface and bottom hole locations, well depth, well status and production data and production reports required after the initial 30-day filing period referred to above.  Production data includes volume, gravity and gas-oil ratio of all production of oil or gas after the well begins regular production. AS 31.05.035. Also certain information that is required to be disclosed under federal law, and that is disclosed to the state under state statutes governing well production and safety, may not be kept confidential. AS 31.05.035(e).

19. Prisons and Prisoners.

a. Pre-parole Reports. In order to determine whether a prisoner is suitable for discretionary parole, the parole board must consider a pre-parole report. This report includes the pre-sentence report to the sentencing court, recommendations made by the sentencing court, by the prosecuting attorney, by the defense attorney, and statements made by the victim or the prisoner at sentencing, the prisoner's institutional history, recommendations of the correctional facilities staff, and other things. The pre-parole report for the most part is available to pretty much everyone but the public: It may be disclosed to the parole board, the sentencing judge, the prosecuting and defense attorneys, the prisoner, the prisoner's attorney, the attorney for the parole board, the staff of the board, and others who have access to parole board information. Otherwise, however, it is confidential. It is possible that a reporter might argue the pre-parole reports should be available notwithstanding the confidentiality provision of AS 33.16.170, in light of the Ninth Circuit's decision recognizing a constitutional right of access to pre-sentence reports prepared for a judge before sentencing. See United States v. Schlette, 842 F.2d 1574 ( 9th Cir. 1988). However, this will not necessarily be the case since pre-sentence reports are prepared by employees of the judicial branch, and solely for use by the sentencing judge, and the right of access analysis has been applied generally to judicial proceedings and documents. The parole board is an executive branch agency, and the reports and records of such agencies are traditionally analyzed in terms of public records laws where such confidentiality provisions are recognized and honored as exceptions to the extent the legislature provides. If the question arises, it will probably need to be answered by the courts.

b. Convict Photographs. A victim is entitled upon request to a photograph of an offender who is released or escapes from incarceration, but must keep it for personal use only and cannot distribute it. AS 33.30.013(e).

c. Prisoner Data. AS 33.30.211 provides that the commissioner of Department of Corrections shall adopt regulations providing for the confidentiality of documents that are transmitted to the correctional facility with a prisoner, including the pre-sentence report, and other information of the probation office or of the court that may affect the person's rehabilitation. Presumably, this confidentiality provision cannot supersede the right of the public to have access to documents that are otherwise public, pursuant to the Schlette case or other provisions of law.

d. Monitored Phone Calls. Prison officials may monitor prisoners' telephone calls to preserve security and order, and to protect the public, if they post a warning informing the prisoner that this may be done. Recordings of prisoners' telephone calls are confidential. AS 33.20.231(c).

20. Property.

Unclaimed Property. Persons holding personal property of others that is presumed to be abandoned are supposed to report this to the state. The Department of Revenue has the authority to examine the records of those it has reason to believe have not complied with these reporting provisions. In the course of doing this, particularly with banks and insurance companies, the Department of Revenue may obtain information that is otherwise confidential under state or federal law or regulation, and in such event this information may not be publicly disclosed. AS 34.45.290(d).

21. Public Contracts.

a. Employment Preferences. An employer obligated to meet resident hire requirements under Alaska law must comply with reporting provisions that the commissioner of labor determines are reasonably necessary to implement the local hire laws. Except for statistical data, all information regarding specific employees is confidential and may not be released by the Department of Labor and Workplace Development. AS 36.10.190.

b. State Procurement Code. Procurement information is public except as otherwise provided by law. AS 36.30.530. The state's procurement code requires the commissioner of administration to adopt regulations providing among other things for confidentiality of technical data and trade secrets submitted by actual or prospective bidders or offerors. AS 36.30.040(b)(6).

When competitive sealed bids are opened the amount of each bid and other relevant information specified by regulations, together with the name of each bidder is recorded, and this information must be open to public inspection as soon as practicable before the notice of intent to award a contract is given. The bids themselves, however, are not open for public inspection until after the notice of intent to award a contract is given. To the extent the bidder designates and the procurement officer concurs, trade secrets and other proprietary data contained in a bid document are confidential. AS 36.30.140. If the commissioner of transportation and public facilities makes a written finding that the release of the estimated cost of a construction contract would adversely affect the state's ability to obtain the best competitive bid, the estimated cost is confidential information and may not be released to the public before bid opening. AS 36.30.110(c).

Similarly, in the code provisions for competitive sealed proposals, the procurement officer must open proposals so as to avoid disclosure of contents to competing offerors before notice of intent to award a contract is issued. A register of proposals containing the name and address of each offeror is to be prepared and the register and proposals are open for public inspection after the notice of intent to award a contract is issued. To the extent the offeror designates and the procurement officer concurs, trade secrets and other proprietary data contained in the proposal documents are confidential. AS 36.30.230. Also, discussions may be conducted with responsible offerors who submit proposals that may be selected for award in order to clarify and to assure full understanding of and responsiveness to the solicitation requirements. All those reasonably eligible to being selected for the award are to be given fair and equal treatment, but in conducting discussions, the procurement officer may not disclose information derived from proposals submitted by competing offerors. This process, including the meetings with these offerors, is not public. AS 36.30.240.

c. Determination of Responsibility. It is fundamental that public contracts are awarded only to "responsible bidders." The commissioner of administration may require a bidder to show that it is responsible, and information furnished by a bidder or offeror to do so is confidential and may not be disclosed without that person's prior written consent. AS 36.30.360.

22. Public Finance.

a. Managing Investments. The commissioner of revenue or other fiduciary investing and managing investments of state funds may declare records to be confidential and exempt from disclosure under the public records act if the records contain information that discloses the particulars of the business or the affairs of a private enterprise, investor, borrower, advisor, consultant, counsel or manager. AS 37.10.071.  The Alaska Retirement Management Board may enter into confidentiality agreements that would exempt records from AS 40.25.110 and 40.25.120 if the records contain information that could affect the value of investment by the board or that could impair the ability of the board to acquire, maintain, or dispose of investments. Sec. 37.10.220(b)(4).  

b. Alaska Permanent Fund. Similarly, information in the possession of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation is a public record, except that information which discloses the particulars of the business or affairs of a private enterprise or investor is confidential. These restrictions do not prohibit the publication of statistics presented in a manner that prevents the identification of particular reports, items, persons or enterprises. AS 37.13.200. Information on each permanent fund dividend application, except the applicant's name, is confidential. The department may only release information that is confidential under this section (1) to a local, state or federal government agency; (2) in compliance with a court order; (3) to the individual who or agency that files an application on behalf of another; (4) to a banking institution to verify the direct deposit of a permanent fund dividend or correct an error in that deposit; (5) as directed to do so by the applicant; and (6) to a contractor who receives, stores or manages the information on behalf of one of these. AS 43.23.017. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Department of Revenue may release the names and addresses of permanent fund dividend applicants to a legislator of this state and to the legislator's office staff for official legislative purposes.

c. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trust. In August 1991, the U.S. District Court approved a Memorandum Agreement and Consent Decree entered into between the United States and the State of Alaska in settlement of claims to money received for injury, loss and destruction of the natural resources affected by the March 24, 1989, Exxon Valdez oil spill. Records of the trust in the custody or subject to the control of state officers and agencies are public records. AS 37.14.425.

d. BIDCOs. In 1992, the Alaska Legislature created the "BIDCO" Fund within the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation, to assist in the formation and capitalization of certain specially licensed corporations, including risk capital for small and medium sized businesses in rural and distressed areas and minority owned business. AS 37.17.200-.390. In 2004, the Legislature repealed or renumbered the BIDCO provisions, establishing the Alaska BIDCO Fund within the state's general fund. The BIDCO Fund is administered by the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development under AS 37.17.500 - 37.17.690.

While a BIDCO loan is outstanding and the obligations of the BIDCO to the foundation remain undischarged, the BIDCO must allow the foundation to have a representative present at all meetings of the BIDCO's board of directors and of the BIDCO's shareholders, to receive all notices and information sent to the board of directors or the shareholders, to have the same access to information about the BIDCO as the directors have and as the shareholders have, and to receive additional reports or information from the BIDCO that the foundation reasonably requests. AS 37.17.610. In order to promote the purposes of AS 37.17.500 - 37.17.690, the department may establish policies under which it will keep confidential proprietary information submitted to the department by an applicant for a loan or other financial assistance under AS 37.17.500 - 37.17.690 and by a BIDCO that has received a loan or other financial assistance under AS 37.17.500 - 37.17.690. The information that is determined to be confidential under this section is not a public record under AS 40.25.110 - 40.25.220. AS 37.17.650.

e. Alaska Science and Technology Foundation. In 2004, the Legislature repealed the law creating the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation, which previously had, through its Board, awarded grants for research projects to enhance research capabilities for basic and applied research to the state and other specified purposes. The Board required each grant recipient to provide periodic reports and a final report, and disseminated to the scientific community and to the public, on a regular basis, the results of research sponsored by the Foundation. The Board was authorized to adopt regulations to protect trade secrets and other proprietary information submitted to the Foundation from disclosure under the Public Records Act. Also, upon written request pursuant to regulations adopted by the Board, the Board could allow information developed under a grant to be treated confidentially under the Public Records Act. AS 37.17.090(f). The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority, a public corporation created by the legislature within the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, but with separate and independent legal existence, oversees the administration of outstanding grants awarded by the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation under former AS 37.17.010 - 37.17.110, and also oversees administration of outstanding BIDCO assistance grants and loans made by the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation under former AS 37.17.200 - 37.17.390. AS 44.88.080(28), (29).

23. Public Lands and Resources.

a. Alaska Land Act. The following records and files of the division of lands must be kept confidential upon request of the person supplying the information: (a) the name of the person nominating or applying for the sale, lease or other disposal of land by competitive bidding; (b) before the announced time of opening, the names of the bidders and the amounts of the bids; (c) all geological, geophysical and engineering data supplied, whether or not concerned with the extraction or development of natural resources; (d) cost data and financial information submitted in support of applications, bonds, leases and similar items; (e) the applications for rights of way or easements; (f) requests for information or applications by public agencies for land which is being considered for use for a public purpose. AS 38.05.035(a)(8).

The Commissioner of Natural Resources is authorized to negotiate the sale of timber for use in the manufacture of high value-added wood products, and upon request of the prospective purchaser of such timber, the Commissioner must keep data provided by the purchaser confidential in accordance with the requirements of AS 38.05.035(a)(8). AS 38.05.123(f).

The Commissioner of Natural Resources may require those applying for an oil and gas exploration license to submit information in addition to that required by the statutes concerning the prospective licensee's proposal. The Commissioner must keep confidential information described in AS 38.05.035(a)(8) that is voluntarily provided if the prospective licensee has made a written request that the information remain confidential. AS 38.05.133(e).

AS 38.05.036(b) provides that when the Department of Natural Resources or Revenue obtains or provides information that is confidential in the course of performing audits relating to royalty and net profits under oil and gas contracts, agreements or leases, it must keep that information confidential to the extent required under these agreements, contracts or leases or otherwise by law, including AS 38.05.035 (a)(8), AS 41.09.010 (d) [governing data provided for exploration incentive credits], or AS 43.05.230 [governing taxpayer information]. A lessee of state land is required to provide to the state concerning all non-interpretive data obtained from exploration for, or development or production of, oil or gas on state land is confidential, and this information is confidential. AS 38.05.180(x).

b. Alaska Royalty Oil and Gas Development Advisory Board. AS 38.06.060 gives the Alaska Royal Oil and Gas Development Advisory Board the authority to provide for confidentiality of those documents and records in its possession or control which contain confidential business or marketing information the protection of which is essential to the person who has submitted them to the board or, in the judgment of the board, is essential to the best interests of the state.

c. Data for Exploration Incentive Credits. The Commissioner of Natural Resources may extend to qualified applicants an exploration credit for certain geophysical work, drawing of stratigraphic test wells, or drilling exploratory wells. This incentive program is distinct from the exploration incentive credit authorized under AS 38.05, in that it is applicable regardless of whether the land is state-owned or not. Data derived from drilling a stratigraphic test well or exploratory well that is provided to the Commissioner in connection with an application for the exploration incentive credit must be kept confidential for 24 months after receipt unless the owner of the well gives written permission to the state to release the well data at an earlier date. Notwithstanding the provisions of AS 31.05.035(c), confidentiality may not be extended beyond 24 months. The provisions of AS 38.05.035(a)(8)(C) apply to other data provided to the Commissioner under this section, except that the Commissioner, under appropriate confidentiality provisions and without preference or discrimination, may display the data to interested third parties, but without giving it to them, if the Commissioner determines that limited disclosure is necessary to further the interest of the state in evaluating or developing its land. AS 41.09.010(d).

d. Alaska Gasline Inducement Act.  In 2007 the state established a program to encourage construction of an Alaska gasline, and to provide inducements to the entity awarded a license to build the gasline.  AS 43.90.100 et seq. At the request of applicant for the license under the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA), information submitted by the applicant that the applicant identifies and demonstrates is proprietary or is a trade secret is confidential and not subject to public disclosure under AS 40.25. After a license is awarded, all information submitted by the licensee, retained under AGIA, and not determined by the commissioners to be a proprietary or trade secret shall be made public. AS 43.90.150(a)  If the commissioners determine that the information submitted by the applicant is not proprietary or is not a trade secret, the commissioners shall notify the applicant and return the information at the request of the applicant. AS 43.90.150(b)

After a license has been issued and until commencement of commercial operations of a natural gas pipeline, the AGIA licensee shall allow the state’s commissioners or their representatives to be present at

all meetings of the licensee's governing body or bodies and equity holders that relate to the project; receive all relevant notices and information when and as sent to the governing body or bodies and equity holders; enjoy the same access to information about the licensee as the governing body members and equity owners receive; and receive relevant reports or information from the licensee that the commissioners reasonably request. All proprietary information, privileged information, and trade secrets received by the commissioners or their representative are not subject to public disclosure under AS 40.25. AS 43.90.220(e).  

Applications received by AGIA commissioners from potential are not subject to public disclosure under the Public Records Act until the commissioners publish notice and provide a 60-day period for public review and comment on all applications determined complete. Except as provided under AS 43.90.150 all applications filed under AGIA must be made public, including applications rejected as incomplete. However, information that the commissioners have determined is proprietary or a trade secret may not be made public even after the notice is published, except as otherwise provided in AS 43.90.150. If information is proprietary or a trade secret and is held confidential under that provision, the applicant shall provide a summary of the confidential information that is satisfactory to the commissioners, and the commissioners shall make the summary of the information available to the public. AS 43.90.160(a), (b). 

24. Public Officers and Employees.

a. State Personnel Act. An amendment slipped into the public employees statutes in 1982 reversed the presumption that state personnel records were open with certain exceptions. Now the law provides that state personnel records are presumptively closed unless specifically provided otherwise. AS 39.25.080 states that state personnel records, including employment applications and examination materials, are confidential and are not open to public inspection except as provided in that section. Specifically, it goes on to designate as information available for public inspection

1) the names and position titles of all state employees;

2) the position held by a state employee;

3) prior positions held by a state employee;

4) whether a state employee is in the classified, partially exempt or exempt service;

5) the dates of appointment and separation of a state employee; and

6) the compensation authorized for a state employee.

(7) whether a state employee has been dismissed or disciplined for a violation of AS 39.25.160 (l) (interference or failure to cooperate with the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee).

A state employee may examine his or her own files and authorize others — including a reporter — to examine those files. AS 39.25.080(c). News media have argued for, and the Supreme Court has adopted, a very restrictive reading of the restrictions in the laws governing access to state personnel records. See, e.g., Alaska Wildlife Alliance v. Rue, 948 P.2d 976, 980 (Alaska 1997), and International Ass'n of Firefighters, Local 1264 v. Municipality of Anchorage and Anchorage Daily News, 973 P.2d 1132, 1135 (Alaska 1999), in both of which the Alaska Supreme Court made clear that simply because documents or information may appear in, or be placed in, an employee's personnel file, does not mean they are exempt as "personnel records." The term "personnel record" is defined narrowly to include only information that reveals the details of an individual's personal life. These and related cases are discussed in more detail in section IV.J of this Open Records Outline, infra. The state personnel act provides that this chapter and the rules adopted under it apply to all positions in the classified service, but to the exempt and partially exempt service only as specifically provided. See AS 39.25.090. Therefore, it has been argued that none of the positions specified in AS 39.25.110 (exempt service) or AS 39.25.120 (partially exempt service) are subject to the language stating that personnel records are not open to public inspection except as specifically provided. This interpretation was adopted by the Alaska Supreme Court in Doe v. Alaska Superior Court, 721 P.2d at 621-622, with respect to the exempt service. The result is that the general provisions of the Public Records Act, AS 40.25.110 et seq. apply, and require public disclosure of such records. Records relating to the following exempt positions therefore are public:

AS 39.25.110

1) persons elected to public office by popular vote or appointed to fill vacancies in elected offices;

2) justices, judges, magistrates and employees of the judicial branch including employees of the Judicial Council;

3) employees of the state legislature and its agencies;

4) the head of each principal department in the executive branch;

5) officers and employees of the University of Alaska;

6) certificated teachers and noncertificated employees employed by a regional educational attendance area established and organized under AS 14.08.031-14.08. 041 to teach in, administer, or operate schools under the control of a regional educational attendance area school board;

(7) certificated teachers employed by the Department of Education and Early Development as correspondence teachers, teachers in skill centers operated by the Department of Education and Early Development or by the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, or in Mt. Edgecumbe School;

8) patients and inmates employed in state institutions;

9) persons employed in a professional capacity to make a temporary or special inquiry, study or examination as authorized by the governor;

10) members of boards, commissions or authorities;

11) the officers and employees of the following boards, commissions and authorities; (A) Alaska Gas Pipeline Financing Authority (repealed 1994); (B) Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation; (C) Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority; (D) Alaska Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission; (E) Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education; (F) Alaska Aerospace Corporation; (G) Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority;

12) the executive secretary and legal counsel of the Alaska Municipal Bond Bank Authority;

13) the state medical examiner, deputy medical examiner and assistant medical examiners appointed under AS 12.65.015 and physicians licensed to practice in this state and employed by the division of mental health and developmental disabilities in the Department of Health and Social Services or by the Department of Corrections;

14) petroleum engineers and petroleum geologists employed in a professional capacity by the Department of Natural Resources and by the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, except for those employed in the division of geological and geophysical surveys in the Department of Natural Resources;

15) [Repealed 1999, formerly listed officers, agents and employees of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board granted limited peace officer powers by the Alcohol Beverage Control Board under AS 04.06.110];

16) persons employed by the division of marine transportation as masters and members of the crews of vessels who operate the state ferry system and who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement provided in AS 23.40.040;

17) officers and employees of the state who reside in foreign countries;

18) employees of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute;

19) emergency fire-fighting personnel employed by the Department of Natural Resources for a fire emergency or for fire prevention and related activities conducted under AS 41.15.030;

20) employees of the Office of the Governor and the office of the lieutenant governor, including the staff of the governor's mansion;

21) [Repealed 2004, formerly listed employees of the Citizen's Advisory Commission on Federal Areas in Alaska [AS 41.37.010]);

22) youth employed by the Department of Natural Resources under the Youth Employment and Student Intern programs;

23) [Repealed 2003, formerly listed the executive director of the Medicaid Rate Advisory Commission];

24) students employed by the state institutions in which the students are enrolled;

25) [Repealed 2004, formerly listed the executive director and staff of the Alaska Science and Technology Foundation];

26) investment officers in the Department of Revenue;

27) [Repealed 1999, formerly listed the executive director and other staff of the Alaska Tourism Marketing Council];

28) persons engaged in employment or pre-employment training programs operated by the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs;

29) [Repealed 1989, formerly listed employees of the Alaska Amateur Sports Authority];

30) a person employed as an actuary or assistant actuary by the Division of Insurance and the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development;

31) [Repealed 2004, formerly listed the chief administrative law judge and any other administrative law judge appointed to the office of tax appeals of the Department of Administration under AS 43.05.400-43.05.499];

32) a participant in the Alaska Temporary Assistance Program under AS 47.27 who holds a temporary position with the state in order to obtain job training or experience.

33) a person employed as a convener under AS 44.62.730 or as a facilitator under AS 44.62.760 related to a negotiated regulation making process under AS 44.62.710 - 44.62.800;

34) the chief executive officer and employees of the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority employed under AS 47.30.026 (b);

35) the assistant adjutant general for space and missile defense appointed under AS 26.05.185;

36) the victims' advocate established under AS 24.65.010 and the advocate's staff;

37) employees of the Alaska mental health trust land unit established under AS 44.37.050;

38) the executive director of the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault established under AS 18.66.010;

39) the executive director and employees of the Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority under AS 19.75.051 and 19.75.061;

40) the chair of the Workers' Compensation Appeals Commission (AS 23.30.007).

(41) the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act coordinator appointed under AS 43.90.250;

(42) oil and gas audit masters employed in a professional capacity by the Department of Revenue and the Department of Natural Resources to collect oil and gas revenue by developing policy, conducting studies, drafting proposed regulations, enforcing regulations, and directing audits by oil and gas revenue auditors;

(43) the in-state gasline project coordinator appointed under AS 38.34.010.

Only an exempt position was at issue in the Doe case. The Court has not specifically addressed whether the requirements of AS 39.25.080 prohibiting access, or AS 40.25.110 et seq. allowing access, apply to the partially exempt state service. State regulations governing access to personnel records treat records pertaining to classified and partially exempt employees the same, and asserts confidentiality with respect to the records of applicants and current and former employees in both classes. 2 AAC 7.910. The press argues that Title 9 applies, and requires disclosure, because AS 39.25.090 applies to exempt and partially exempt service "as specifically provided," and AS 39.25.120, governing the partially exempt service, does not specifically provide for nondisclosure. The partially exempt service comprises the following positions:

AS 39.25.120

1) deputy and assistant commissioners of the principal departments of the executive branch, including the assistant adjutant general of the Department of Military and Veteran's Affairs;

2) the directors of the major divisions of the principal departments of the executive branch and the regional directors of the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities;

3) attorney members of the staff of the Department of Law, of the public defender agency, and of the office of public advocacy in the Department of Administration;

4) one private secretary for each head of a principal department in the executive branch;

5) employees of councils, boards or commissions established by statute in the Office of the Governor or the office of the lieutenant governor, unless a different classification is provided by statute;

6) not more than two special assistants to the commissioner of each of the principal departments of the executive branch, but the number may be increased if the partially exempt service is extended under AS 39.25.130 to include the additional special assistants;

7) the principal executive officer of the following boards, councils or commissions; (A) Alaska Public Broadcasting Commission; (B) Professional Teaching Practices Commission; (C) Parole Board; (D) Board of Nursing; (E) Real Estate Commission; (F) Alaska Royalty Oil and Gas Development Advisory Board; (G) Alaska State Council on the Arts; (H) Alaska Police Standards Council; (I) Alaskan Commission on Aging; (J) Alaska Mental Health Board; (K) State Medical Board; (L) Governor's Council on Disabilities and Special Education; (M) Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse; (N) Statewide Suicide Prevention Council; (O) State Board of Registration for Architects, Engineers, and Land Surveyors; (P) Alaska Health Care Commission;

8) Alaska Pioneers' Home and Alaska Veterans' Home managers;

9) hearing examiners in the Department of Revenue;

10) the comptroller in the division of treasury, Department of Revenue;

11) airport managers in the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities employed at the Anchorage and Fairbanks International Airports;

12) the deputy director of the division of tourism and the deputy director of the division of insurance in the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development;

13) the executive director and staff of the Alaska Public Offices Commission;

14) the rehabilitation administrator of the Worker's Compensation Board;

15) guards employed by the Department of Public Safety for emergencies;

16) pilot coordinator of the Board of Marine Pilots;

17) guards employed by the Department of Corrections, other than in state correctional facilities, to carry out the responsibility of the Commissioner of Corrections under AS 33.30 071(b);

18) hearing officers and administrative law judges of the Regulatory Commission of Alaska;

19) the compact administrator appointed under AS 33.36.130;

20) the chief administrative law judge and administrative law judges of the office of administrative hearings.

b. Executive Branch Ethics Act.

i) Advisory Opinions. Like its legislative analogue, the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act provides for advisory opinions upon request of a designated supervisor or a board or a commission. Such a request for advice is confidential. The attorney general, who issues such advisory opinions in interpreting the ethics act, is required to publish any advisory opinions issued under this section that he or she determines to be of major import because of their general applicability to executive branch officers, after making sufficient deletions to prevent disclosure of the persons whose identities are required to be kept confidential. AS 39.52.240.

ii) Reports of Potential Violations. Public employees and members of boards or commissions who are involved in matters that may result in violations of the Executive Branch Ethics Act are required, among other things, to immediately disclose the matter in writing to a designated supervisor. The law also provides that any person may report a public officer's potential violation of the ethics act to that officer's designated supervisor. The designated supervisor is required to submit a report each quarter to the attorney general that states the facts, circumstances and disposition of any disclosure made pursuant to these reporting requirements. This report is confidential unless formal proceedings are initiated pursuant to AS 39.52.350. This is done if the attorney general determines that there is probable cause to believe that a knowing violation of the ethics code, or a violation that cannot be corrected in accordance with provisions of the law, has occurred, or that the subject of the complaint has failed to comply with a recommendation for corrective or preventive action. The proceedings are begun by serving a copy of an accusation upon the subject of the accusation, then when this is done the accusation is a public document. If formal proceedings are initiated, the relevant portions of the report are public documents open to inspection. In addition, the attorney general is required to make available to the public a summary of the quarterly reports received, with sufficient deletions to prevent disclosure of a person's identity. AS 39.52.260.

iii) Dismissal or Resolution Before Formal Proceedings. If the attorney general determines after investigation that there is no probable cause to believe that a violation of the Executive Branch Ethics Act has occurred, she or he shall dismiss the complaint, disposition of the matter promptly to the complainant and subject of the complaint, and prepare and file a confidential summary with the personnel board. AS 39.52.320. If instead, the attorney general determines that the conduct of the complaint does not warrant a hearing but recommends action to correct or prevent a violation of the ethics code, the attorney general shall communicate the recommended action to the complainant, and to subject of the complaint who is required to comply with the recommendation. AS 39.52.330. Each month the attorney general is required to provide the personnel board with a summary updating the status of pending complaints and resolution of complaints. AS 39.52.335. This summary is confidential unless the dismissal under .320 or resolution agreed to under .330 is public, or a superior court makes the matter public as provided in the statute. If the summary is confidential, comments filed by the complainant are confidential, the personnel board's review of the summary must be in executive session, and any report issued by the personnel board must be confidential except that the board must make public an expurgated copy that does not identify the persons involved. The personnel board, after reviewing the summary, can issue a report on the disposition of the complaint that, among other things, recommends that the subject of the complaint be identified if that is determined to be in the public interest. An interested party can request that the superior court adopt the board's recommendation by making public the complaint, the attorney general's disposition of the complaint, and the personnel board report, and the court can order the matter, or portions of it, public if it determines that (1) the dismissal or resolution of the complaint was clearly contrary to the requirements of this chapter; (2) one or more of the allegations in the information to be released is supported by substantial evidence; (3) the matter concerns the public interest; and (4) release of the information will not infringe on any protected rights or liberties of the subject. AS 39.52.335.

iv) Confidentiality of Investigations. AS 39.52.340 provides that before the initiation of formal proceedings, information regarding the investigation conducted under the Executive Branch Ethics Act, or obtained by the attorney general during the investigation, is confidential, except as provided in AS 39.52.335 as outlined in the preceding subsection. The attorney general and all persons contacted during the course of an investigation are required to maintain confidentiality regarding the existence of the investigation, and violations of this provision constitute a Class A misdemeanor. The subject of the complaint may, in writing, waive the confidentiality protection of this section. AS 39.52.340(c).

v) Personnel Board Review. Formal proceedings are initially conducted before a hearing officer who makes reports and findings and recommendations to the personnel board. The personnel board can conduct a further hearing or oral argument, and must review each report submitted by a hearing officer and decide whether to adopt or amend the findings of fact, conclusions of law, and recommendations of the officer. Deliberations of the personnel board must be conducted in sessions not open to the public. AS 39.52.370.

c. Conflict of Interest Statements. Sworn statements giving income sources and business interests must be filed by judicial officers, and most significant elected and appointed state and municipal officers and employees and former public officials, and candidates for public office. These conflict of interest statements are all public. AS 39.50.020-.030.

d. Confidentiality of Retirement Records. Public records, including electronic services and products involving public records, containing information about a person and maintained under the laws governing the public employees' retirement systems, are confidential and not subject to inspection or copying under the public records act. AS 40.25.151.

25. Public Utilities and Carriers.

a. Alaska Public Utilities Commission Act. The Alaska Public Utilities Commission Act provides for public access to records in the possession of the commission. The commission may, by regulation, classify records submitted to it by regulated utilities as privileged records, not open to inspection by the public. However, if a record involves an application or tariff filing pending before the commission, the commission shall release the record for the purpose of preparing for or making a presentation to the commission in the proceeding if the record or information derived from the record will be used by the commission in the proceeding. A person objecting to public disclosure of information contained in a record submitted under the Public Utilities Act or of information obtained by the commission under the provisions of the Act must do so in writing and state the grounds for the objection. When an objection is made the commission may not order the information withheld from the public unless the information adversely affects the interest of the person making the written objection and disclosure is not required in the interest of the public. AS 42.05.671. The APUC in 1992 adopted new regulations governing access to records. 3 AAC 48.040-.100. The Alaska Supreme Court has stated that, while the requirement of the statute that information not be withheld if "required in the interest of the public" will normally prevent a conflict with constitutional due process requirements, if a conflict nevertheless occurs, the privilege of access afforded by the statute must be narrowly construed so that the constitutional due process rights of the utilities control.

b. Pipeline Commission. Records in the possession of the Alaska Pipeline Commission are presumptively open to the public. One who objects to the public disclosure of information contained in a record filed pursuant to the pipeline act or to disclosure of information obtained by the commission under the provisions of the act must do so in writing, stating the grounds for the objection. When an objection is made, the commission shall order the information withheld from public disclosure if the information adversely affects the interest of the person making written objection and disclosure is not required in the interest of the public. The commission may, by regulation, classify records submitted to it by regulated pipeline carriers or pipelines as privileged records that are not open to public inspection, provided that records that would be used in proceedings concerning tariffs must be made available. In such a case, the person who filed the otherwise confidential record must be given notice and an opportunity to object before it is released. AS 42.06.445.

c. Alaska Railroad Corporation. Information in the possession of the Alaska Railroad Corporation is presumptively public and open to inspection and copying at reasonable times. AS 42.40.220. Matters of a privileged or proprietary nature may be designated by rule to be withheld from public disclosure. Those matters include personnel records, communications with and work product of legal counsel, and, consistent with the standards and practices of the United States Surface Transportation Board for the protection of these matters, other information including proprietary information associated with specific shippers, divisions and contract rate agreements. (Note: On at least one occasion, the ARR took an unreasonable position in refusing to disclose public documents, claiming attorney-client communications or work product. A specific issue was access to a consent decree and related documents entered into between the attorney general's office and the railroad. Threatened with a court suit to compel access, the railroad "became reasonable" and provided the documents.) The Alaska Railroad Corporation is exempt from the normal oversight of the governor with respect to its regulations governing access to electronic products and services, and inspection and copying of public records. AS 40.25.110(g) - .115(g), - .123(a).

d. Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority. Information in the possession of the Alaska Natural Gas Development Authority, a public corporation established to facilitate bringing natural gas from the North Slope to market is a public record, except that information that discloses the particulars of the business or affairs of a private enterprise or investor is confidential and is not subject to disclosure under the public records act. Confidential information may be disclosed only for the purposes of an official law enforcement investigation or when its production is required in a court proceeding, publication of statistics presented in a manner that prevents the identification of particular reports, items, persons or enterprises is permitted. AS 41.41.150.

26. Revenue and Taxation.

a. Tax Information. Information in the possession of the Department of Revenue that discloses the particulars of the business or affairs of a taxpayer or other person is not public record. It is confidential, except that tax lists showing the names of delinquent tax payers may be published, and taxpayer information may be presented in statistical form that does not identify particular reports or items. AS 40.25.100.

b. Tax Returns and Reports. It is against the law for current or former officers, agents or employees of the state to divulge the amount of income or the particulars set out or disclosed in a report or return made under the state revenue code. Nothing in this section prohibits the publication of statistics so classified as to prevent the identification of particular returns or reports or the publication of delinquent lists showing the names of taxpayers who have failed to pay their taxes at the time and in the manner provided by law, together with other relevant information which in the opinion of the department may assist in the collection of delinquent taxes. AS 43.05.230.

c. Tax Appeals. A 1983 Attorney General's Opinion states that when a taxpayer files a notice of appeal, the Department of Revenue hearing decision may be made public because the taxpayer is, in effect, waiving any right to confidentiality the taxpayer may have had. Also, the AG concluded that the Department can publish decisions that have not been appealed or for which confidentiality was not voluntarily waived if it establishes guidelines for publication to protect the taxpayer's identity. Absent an appeal, hearing decisions need not be published, even though they are technically orders of the Commissioner because of other statutory provisions which prohibit disclosure of the "particulars" of the business of a taxpayer except when in connection with investigations or court proceedings. A 1996 statute established the Office of Tax Appeals within the Department of Revenue. Records, proceedings and decisions under this statute are confidential, except that they become public records and open to the public when the final administrative decision is issued and becomes final. AS 43.05.470(a). Upon a showing of good cause, an administrative law judge must issue a protective order requiring that specified parts of the records, proceeding or decision shall be kept confidential in a particular appeal, in which case the final administrative decision is made public after redacting by deletion or substitution of information as required by the protective order. AS 43.05.470(b). To promote consistency among legal determinations issued under AS 43.05.400 - 43.05.499, the chief administrative law judge may review and circulate among the other administrative law judges the drafts of formal decisions, decisions upon reconsideration, and other legal opinions of the other administrative law judges in the office. The drafts are confidential documents, not subject to disclosure under the public records act or under .470(a). AS 43.05.475(b).

d. Election of Administrative Law Judges. The business of the Office of Tax Appeals is to be conducted by an administrative law judge selected as set forth in AS 43.05.410. The Alaska Judicial Council forwards nominations for this position to the governor after reviewing the qualifications of applicants and information sufficient to thoroughly evaluate each applicant. Comments, references or survey responses that request confidentiality, or for which the Judicial Council promises confidentiality, shall be kept confidential, but the Judicial Council shall provide the applicant for appointment or re-appointment as administrative law judge a summary of the concerns raised and the comments, references and survey responses that are kept confidential. Also, in this process, the Judicial Council has the authority to review confidential Alaska Bar Association files on applicants, but must maintain the confidentiality of these files. The Judicial Council must forward to the governor with its nominees all non-confidential materials on the applicants, but provide the governor with summaries of the concerns raised in the comments, references and survey responses that are kept confidential. Id.

e. Oil and Gas Production Tax Credits. To qualify for a production tax credit based on oil and gas or gas exploration, an explorer shall agree, in writing, to submit information and evidence about the claimed exploration necessary to evaluate the validity of the explorer's claim. Notwithstanding any provision of AS 38, information provided under this paragraph will be held confidential by the Department of Natural Resources for 10 years following the completion date, at which time that department will release the information after 30 days' public notice AS 43.55.025(f).

f. Multistate Tax Compact. Information obtained by any audit pursuant to the Multistate Tax Compact is confidential. AS 43.19.010. Fish processors engaged in selling canned salmon must semi-annually report to the Department of Revenue the prices received for the sale of canned salmon. Information in these reports and price averages calculated by the department from the information in the reports, are public information except that information that identifies or could be used to identify a particular fish processor is confidential. AS 43.80.065.

g. Stranded Gas Development Act. The Stranded Gas Development Act provides for contracts for payments in lieu of other taxes to encourage new investment to develop the state's stranded gas resources. The commissioner of revenue determines whether proposals for new investment qualify based on information and evidence submitted under this chapter. An applicant may request confidential treatment of information it provides by clearly identifying the information and the reasons supporting the request for confidential treatment. If the commissioner does not approve the request, the information is returned, the review ceases unless the returned information is deemed unnecessary. The information that is subject to the request is to be kept confidential if the applicant shows that (1) it is a trade secret or other proprietary research, development or commercial information that the applicant treats as confidential; (2) affects the applicant's competitive position; and (3) has commercial value that may be significantly diminished by public disclosure or that public disclosure is not in the long-term fiscal interests of the state. Information thus determined to be confidential is confidential only so long as is necessary to protect the competitive position of the applicant, to prevent the significant diminution of the commercial value of the information, or to protect the long-term fiscal interests of the state. The commissioner may not release information that the commissioner has previously determined to be confidential under AS 43.82.310(b) without providing the applicant notice and an opportunity to be heard. AS 43.82.310.

If the commissioner of revenue chooses to develop a contract under AS 43.82.020, the portions of the records and files of the various state and municipal agencies involved that reflect, incorporate or analyze information that is relevant to the development of the position or strategy of the commissioner of revenue, the commissioner of natural resources, or the attorney general with respect to a particular provision that may be incorporated into the contract are not public records until the commissioner of revenue gives public notice of the commissioner's preliminary findings and determination. AS 43.82.310(f). Nothing in this subsection makes a record or file of the Department of Revenue, the Department of Natural Resources, or the Department of Law a public record that otherwise would not be a public record under AS 40.25.100 - 40.25.220, affects the confidentiality of other provisions of AS 43.82.310; or abridges a privilege recognized under the laws of this state. Information that can be disclosed confidentially to other state or municipal agencies for purposes of this chapter does not become public when received by these public agencies. The confidential status of information must be maintained when copies of proposed contracts and the commissioner's preliminary finding and determination are publicly noticed, and confidential information cannot be released during the public portion of legislative committee meetings reviewing the proposed contracts and supporting data. AS 43.82.410.

27. State Government/Miscellaneous.

a. Permanent Dividend Applications. Information on each permanent fund dividend application, except the applicant's name, is confidential. The department may only release information that is confidential under this section (1) to a local, state or federal government agency; (2) in compliance with a court order; (3) to the individual who or agency that files an application on behalf of another; (4) to a banking institution to verify the direct deposit of a permanent fund dividend or correct an error in that deposit; (5) as directed to do so by the applicant; and (6) to a contractor who receives, stores, or manages the information on behalf of one of these. AS 43.23.017. In addition, a 2008 amendment allows the department to release the names and addresses of permanent fund dividend applicants to an Alaska legislator and to the legislator's office staff for official legislative purposes.

b. Cigarette Importation Records. A person that imports into Alaska for sale or distribution here cigarettes manufactured outside of the United States must file quarterly statements identifying the brand and brand styles of the cigarettes, the quantity of each brand style of cigarettes, and the person or persons to whom the cigarettes have been shipped. These statements are confidential and not disclosable under the public records act. AS 43.50.410.

c. Office of Management and Budget. The office of management and budget provides technical assistance to the governor and legislature on a variety of governmental matters including identifying long range goals and objectives, preparing a state comprehensive development plan and assisting with coordination in preparation of agency plans and programs, reviewing planning within state government as necessary for receipt of federal and other funds, and other functions. OMB must keep a complete file of internal audit reports resulting from its audits, and a complete file of the internal audit work papers and other related supportive material. Internal audit work papers and other related supportive material are confidential, and internal audit reports are confidential until released by the governor. However, internal audit work papers and other related supportive material containing information, data, estimates, and statistics obtained during the course of an audit may be kept confidential only to the extent required by law applicable to the agency from which the material is or was obtained. AS 44.19.147.

d. Equal Employment Opportunity Program.  The director of the division of personnel within the Department of Administration is responsible for administering the equal employment opportunity program of the executive branch. The director may not make records of a complaint or investigation public. AS 39.28.060(c). Also, the director may not make public records designated as confidential by AS 39.25.080 or otherwise that it obtains in carrying out its functions, except that it may make public statistical information compiled from confidential records. AS 39.25.080.

e. Tourism Data.  A qualified trade association must provide the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, on request, materials produced and marketing information and tourism related data generated by it under a contract awarded under AS 44.33.125, and the information and tourism related data so provided are not public records. AS 44.33.125(g). Tourism mailing lists sold or leased by the qualified trade association must be sold or leased without discrimination to any individual or business for the purpose of promoting an Alaska tourism product or service, but can surcharge those not participants in the tourism association’s marketing program. AS 44.33.125(f).

f. DNA Identification System. A DNA identification registration system established by the Department of Public Safety to support criminal justice services is confidential, and not a public record, and may only be used for purposes specified in the statute. AS 44.41.035(f).

g. Notaries Public. An address, telephone number and e-mail address submitted to the lieutenant governor by a notary public or applicant for a notary public commission is confidential if so designated by the notary public or applicant, though a notary public must provide a nonconfidential address and phone number at which he or she can be contacted. AS 45.50.071(a). Even though compilations and databases of such confidential addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses are also confidential, the lieutenant governor may disclose such compilations and databases if the lieutenant governor determines that disclosure is in the public interest. AS 45.50.071(b). Complaints about misconduct by a notary public can lead to action by the lieutenant governor suspending or revoking a notary public's commission, or reprimanding a notary public. Such complaints are confidential unless the lieutenant governor determines that the complaint alleges sufficient facts to constitute good cause for disciplinary action. AS 44.50.071(c).

h. Negotiated Regulation Making. AS 44.62.710 - 44.62.800 establishes a framework for the conduct of negotiated regulation making to supplement normal administrative procedures to permit the direct participation of affected interests in the development of new regulations or the amendment or repeal of existing regulations. Notwithstanding AS 40.25.100 - 40.25.220, records from private persons that are requested or used by a negotiated regulation making committee and working documents prepared by the committee that analyze or incorporate information from the records shall be kept confidential if the records or working documents contain proprietary information and the owner of the records or working documents requests that the records or working documents be kept confidential. AS 44.62.710.

i. Commercial Fishing and Agricultural Bank. CFAB is a bank that is a hybrid creature of the legislature. It is exempt from the banking code (AS 06.05) and generally subject to the provisions of the Alaska Cooperative Corporation Act (AS 10.15). Records of the bank that are identified with, or identifiable as being derived from the records of, a specific borrower, member of the bank, or applicant for a loan are confidential and may not be disclosed except under circumstances specified in the statute (including for example, pursuant to court order, or to another lender or bank checking credit). Other bank records "may be kept confidential by the bank." AS 44.81.260. Legislative auditors may not disclose information acquired during the course of an audit of the bank concerning the particulars of the business or affairs of a borrower of the bank or another person. AS 44.81.270(b).

j. The Alaska Gas Pipeline Financing Authority. The statute creating the Alaska Gas Pipeline Financing Authority, since repealed, does not specify whether its records are public or not. Reporters should simply argue that the authority is subject to the general provisions of AS 40.25.110 to -.120, since the membership of the authority consists of three individuals — each commissioners of different departments in the state government. The authority is "an instrumentality of the state within the Department of Revenue, but has a legal existence independent of and separate from the state." It is a public corporation of the state. There is no prior authority regarding the status of its records.

28. Alaska Industrial Development Authority. The Alaska Industrial Development Authority is a public corporation of the state and "a body corporate and politic constituting a political subdivision within the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, but with separate and independent legal existence." AS 44.88.020. The statute does not specifically spell out whether the records of the AIDA are public, but it appears that they are subject to the general provisions of AS 40.25.110 et seq. AIDA is generally subject to the open meetings law, cf. AS 44.88.190, and there is a specific exemption for the confidentiality of certain information, giving rise to the implication that its records are otherwise public. In order to promote the purposes of this chapter, unless the records or information were a matter of public record before submittal to the authority, the following records and information must be kept confidential if the person supplying the records or information or the project, bond, loan, or guarantee applicant or borrower requests confidentiality and makes an adequate showing to the executive director of the authority that the records or information are (1) income tax returns; (2) financial statements, profit-and-loss statements, and cash flow projections, except the information required by the authority to calculate debt service coverage on the loan; (3) financial business plans; (4) credit reports from consumer reporting agencies and other credit information obtained from banks, creditors, or other credit reporting entities; (5) trade secrets, including confidential proprietary information and confidential information about products, pricing, or manufacturing or business processes; (6) appraisals, except the name of the appraiser, the date of the appraisal, and the fair market value determined for the property appraised; (7) market surveys and marketing strategy information; or (8) any information required to be kept confidential by a federal law or regulation or by state law.  AS 44.88.215(a). Information compiled by the authority from information described in (a) of this section shall be kept confidential unless disclosure is authorized by the person supplying the information and by the project, bond, loan, or guarantee applicant or borrower. AS 44.88.215(b). The records and information that the executive director of the authority determines to be confidential under AS 44.88.215(a) or (b) are not public records under the Public Records Act. AS 44.88.215(c). Legislators can review information otherwise confidential under this section if they have a valid legislative purpose for reviewing the information and agree to maintain the confidentiality of the information. AS 44.88.215(d).

29. Trade and Commerce.

a. Unfair Trade Practices. Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act gives the attorney general broad powers to investigate a broad range of unlawful acts and practices specified in the Alaska statutes. See AS 45.50.471 et seq. The attorney general may not make public the name of a person alleged to have committed an act or practice that is listed in the unfair trade practices statutes during an investigation conducted by her or him, nor are the records of the investigation or intelligence information obtained by the attorney general considered public records. They are not available for inspection by the general public. The attorney is allowed to issue public statements describing or warning of a course of conduct or a conspiracy which constitutes or will constitute an unlawful act or practice. AS 45.50.521.

b. Securities Act of 1959. Certain unspecified information is apparently allowed to be kept confidential pursuant to the Alaska Securities Act of 1959. See AS 45.55.905(b).

c. Trade Secrets Litigation. In 1988, the legislature adopted the Alaska Uniform Trade Secrets Act. AS 45.50.910 - 45.50.945. In actions brought under this Act, a court must preserve the secrecy of an alleged trade secret by reasonable means, which may include granting protective orders in connection with discovery proceedings, holding in-camera hearings, sealing the records of the action, and ordering any person involved in the litigation not to disclose an alleged trade secret without prior court approval. AS 45.50.920.

d.  Sale of Business Opportunities.  A person may not sell or offer to sell a business opportunity unless the person is appropriately registered as a seller with the Department of Commerce.  AS 45.66.010 et seq. Except for testimony and records related to an investigation by the Department of Commerce under this chapter, the registration application form, registration renewal form, disclosure statement, bond, contract, and other documents required to be prepared or filed with the department are public records available for public inspection and copying under the Public Records Act. AS 45.66.190.

30. Vital Statistics. The general public records law specifically excepts vital statistics records, and says these "shall be treated in the manner required by AS 18.50." That chapter of the statutes, in turn, says that the state registrar shall issue instructions concerning the keeping, disclosure and copying of such records. AS 18.50.100. This had led to regulations found in 7 AAC 05.010 to -.990 that govern in detail questions about creation, maintenance, dissemination and preservation of records concerning births, deaths, burial permits, divorces and adoptions. Notwithstanding AS 40.25.120, when 100 years have elapsed after the date of a birth, or 50 years have elapsed after the date of a death, marriage, divorce, dissolution of a marriage or annulment, the records of these events become public and subject to inspection and copying. AS 18.50.310.

31. Water, Air, Energy and Environmental Conservation.

a. Inspections. The state Department of Environmental Conservation is authorized, among other things, to enter and inspect premises with consent of the owner to investigate actual or suspected sources of pollution or contamination or to ascertain compliance with regulations; information relating to secret processes or methods of manufacture discovered during an investigation are confidential. AS 46.03.020(6).

b. Hazardous Waste. A person must obtain a permit to treat, transport, store or dispose of hazardous waste. Permits, permit applications, records, reports and information obtained by the department under laws relating to this are available to the public for inspection and copying. However if the commissioner is satisfied that disclosure of such a document would divulge methods or processes entitled to protection as trade secrets, he or she shall treat the information or document as confidential. AS 46.03.311.

c. Underground Storage Tanks. Financial records submitted to the Department of Environmental Conservation or Board of Storage Tank Assessment by the owner or operator of an underground petroleum storage tank system are confidential. DEC is to determine, in consultation with affected owners and operators, which information is confidential. Statistical information about the number, capacity and location of underground petroleum storage tank systems in the state is not confidential. AS 46.03.440.

d. Oil Pollution Control. AS 46.04.025 authorizes the Department of Environmental Conservation to maintain the confidentiality of a manufacturer's proprietary technical information relating to chemical and biological agents used to control or mitigate the effects of an oil discharge. The department may require other state and federal agencies that request the information to receive it on the condition that they also maintain its confidentiality.

e. Air Quality Control. The laws governing air pollution control provide that all or parts of records, reports and information, other than emission data, in the possession of the Department of Environmental Conservation are considered confidential records, if the owner and operator involved certifies that their public disclosure would tend to adversely affect the party's competitive position, and that they would divulge production figures, sales figures, processes, production techniques, or financial data that are entitled to protection under the Alaska Uniform Trade Secrets Act. AS 46.14.520. For a thorough analysis of this section (formerly AS 46.03.180) in the context of records concerning the Anchorage tank farms, see Dec. 4, 1991 Attorney General Opinion, 663-92-0227.

32. Welfare, Social Services and Institutions.

a. Public Assistance Records. When names and addresses of recipients of public assistance are furnished to or held by other government agencies or departments they are required to adopt regulations necessary to prevent the publication of the lists or their use for purposes not directly connected with the administration of public assistance, AS 47.05.020, except pursuant to regulations of the Department and for purposes directly connected with the administration of general assistance, adult public assistance, day care assistance programs, or aid to families with dependent children. No one may disclose, receive, make use of, or acquiesce in the use of a list of, or names of, or information concerning, persons applying for or receiving public assistance directly or indirectly derived from the records, papers, files or communications of the department or subdivisions or agencies of the department, or acquired in the course of the performance of official duties. AS 47.05.030. It is not a violation of this section for the Department or an employee to disclose to a state legislator financial information concerning an eligibility determination of a person applying for public assistance if the disclosure, solicitation, receipt and use are for official purposes in connection with the legislator's official functions and related to the administration of the program consistent with federal law provided that the information shall remain confidential and not further disclosed. A legislator who was not notified that the material was confidential at the time it was provided is not subject to penalty for further disclosure. AS 47.05.032. The Department of Law determined that the Anchorage Daily News was entitled to obtain from the Child Support Enforcement Division a list of child support obligors in arrears, so long as the agency, in releasing this information, does not identify AFDC-related cases. May 30, 1989, Op. Att'y Gen. No. 661-89-0405.

b. Centralized Registry of Service Providers. The Department of Health and Social Services is required to provide by regulation for a centralized registry to facilitate the licensing or certification of entities and individual service providers, the authorization of payments to entities or individual service providers by the department, and the employment of individuals by entities and individual service providers. Covered are individuals or entities required by statute or regulation to be licensed or certified by the Department of Health and Social Services or that are eligible to receive payments, in whole or in part, from the department to provide for the health, safety and welfare of persons who are served by the programs administered by the department. More specifically, covered "entities" include shelters, clinics, medical and psychiatric facilities, foster, maternity and assisted living homes, hospices, child care facilities, birth centers, and a host of others providing social and medical services listed in AS 47.05.010(b) and owners, officers, directors, members or partners of these entities. "Individual service providers" include (1) public home care providers described in AS 47.05.017 (providing health care benefits); (2) providers of home and community-based waiver services financed under AS 47.07.030(c) (medical and related services); and (3) case managers to coordinate community mental health services under AS 47.30.530. The registry consists of the following information, with names of victims redacted, for an entity or individual service provider, an applicant on behalf of an entity or individual service provider, or an employee or unsupervised volunteer of an entity or individual service provider: (1) decisions, orders, judgments and adjudications finding that the applicant, employee or unsupervised volunteer committed (A) abuse, neglect or exploitation under AS 47.10, AS 47.24, AS 47.62, or a substantially similar provision in another jurisdiction; or (B) medical assistance fraud under AS 47.05.210 or a substantially similar provision in another jurisdiction; and (2) orders under a state statute or a substantially similar provision in another jurisdiction that a license or certification of the entity or individual service provider to provide services related to the health, safety and welfare of persons was denied, suspended, revoked or conditioned. Information contained in the registry is confidential and is not subject to public inspection and copying under the public records act. AS 47.05.330(h).

c. Medical Assistance for Needy Students. Payments by the Department of Health and Social Services to assist needy persons eligible for medical care at public expense can be made to a school district on behalf of an eligible child with a disability for rehabilitative and other mandatory and optional services covered under the law that are furnished or paid for by the school district. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of state law, the school district must allow the department access to medical, financial and other records of the child that are in the possession of the school district in order to verify eligibility for services under this chapter, and the department must keep information received under this subsection confidential to the same extent as the school district is required to keep the information confidential under law. AS 47.07.063(b).

d. Children In Need of Aid. The court system and executive branch agencies deal with the problems of children in two significantly different contexts — simplistically thought of as situations in which young people are in the system because they are accused of causing trouble, as alleged juvenile delinquents, and situations in which the system is trying to ensure that a child in need of aid receives the care, guidance, treatment and control that will promote that child's welfare. AS 47.10.005 - 47.10.990. The latter is addressed in this section, the former (AS 47.12.010 - AS 47.12.990) in the next. Proceedings relating to a child under 18 who is or is alleged to be in need of aid can arise for a variety of reasons, e.g., because the child has been abandoned, sexually abused, otherwise physically or mentally harmed, left alone or uncared for due to the parent's incarceration or substance abuse, engaging in conduct harmful to him or herself, exposed to criminal or abusive conduct by a parent or other member of the household. AS 47.10.011. Whenever circumstances subject a child to the jurisdiction of the court under AS 47.10.005 - 47.10.142, the court appoints a person or agency to determine whether the best interests of the child require that further action be taken. Depending on the outcome, further informal or formal hearings or proceedings may be conducted. Child in need of aid (CINA) hearings are presumptively open, subject to significant exceptions and unless otherwise prohibited by federal or state law, court order or court rule. Records regarding a parent who chooses to surrender a child under circumstances constituting voluntary abandonment extinguishing parental rights are confidential.  AS 47.10.013(f).

The court is required to make and keep records of all cases brought before it. Within 30 days after the date of the child's 18th birthday (or after any later date on which the court releases jurisdiction over the child) the court must order all the court's official records pertaining to that child in a proceeding under this chapter sealed. These sealed records may not be used unless authorized by order of the court upon a finding of good cause. AS 47.10.090(c). The name or picture of a child under the jurisdiction of the court pursuant to the CINA statute may not be made public in connection with the child's status as a child in need of aid, in a way that identifies any particular person, unless authorized by a court order or unless to implement a permanency plan after all parental rights of custody have been terminated. AS 47.10.090(d). The court's official records under the CINA statute may be inspected only with the court's permission and only by persons having a legitimate interest in them. AS 47.10.090(e).

Agency records are likewise presumptively privileged and confidential. With certain specified exceptions for various non-public disclosures, all information and social records pertaining to a child who is subject to the CINA statute prepared by or in the possession of a federal, state or municipal agency or employee in the discharge of the agency's or employee's official duty may not be disclosed directly or indirectly to anyone without a court order. AS 47.10.093(a). The Department of Health and Social Services may release confidential information relating to children not subject to the jurisdiction of the court to a person with a legitimate interest. AS 47.10.093(f). The CINA statute directs the Department to adopt and implement regulations governing release of confidential information and identifying a "sufficient legitimate interest" under subsection .093(f).

The commissioners of health and social services or administration, or their representatives, may disclose to the public, upon request, confidential information of the type related to the determination, if any, made by the department regarding the validity of a report of harm under AS 47.17 and the department's activities arising from the department's investigation of the report, when (1) the parent or guardian of a child who is the subject of a report of harm under AS 47.17 has made a public disclosure concerning the department's involvement with the family; (2) the alleged perpetrator named in the report of harm under AS 47.17 has been charged with a crime concerning the alleged abuse or neglect; or (3) a report of harm under AS 47.17 has resulted in the fatality or near fatality of that child. AS 47.10.093(i). Disclosures made pursuant to subsection .093(i) are not subject to the general prohibitions against further disclosure or publication of such previously confidential information. In making such disclosure, the agency must (1) withhold disclosure of the child's name, picture or other information that would readily lead to the identification of the child if the department determines that the disclosure would be contrary to the best interests of the child, the child's siblings, or other children in the child's household, or (2) after consultation with a prosecuting attorney, withhold disclosure of information that would reasonably be expected to interfere with a criminal investigation or proceeding or a criminal defendant's right to a fair trial in a criminal proceeding. AS 47.10.093(j).

e. Delinquent Minors. Most matters involving minors are handled in a special division of the court system. The children's court, dealing with offenses by minors, generally operates outside of the public eye in order to implement public policies designed to protect minors by allowing them to bury youthful mistakes. The law concerning juvenile delinquency, AS 47.12, has been amended significantly to reflect evolving public attitudes on this subject. The legislature has specifically declared that making the juvenile justice system more open, accessible and accountable to the public is one of the purposes of the juvenile delinquency statute. AS 47.12.010.

Certain offenses are not handled in this juvenile justice system. Since the AS 47.12 and the related Alaska Delinquency Rules of the court system do not apply to these offenses, the minor is charged, held, released on bail, prosecuted, sentenced and incarcerated in the same manner as an adult in such cases, which means that judicial records and court proceedings in such cases are open as they would be in any other adult case. Specifically, this occurs when a minor who was at least 16 when one of the following offenses is charged by complaint: (1) an unclassified felony or a class A felony and the felony is a crime against the person, (2) arson in the first degree, (3) a class B felony that is a crime against a person in which the minor is alleged to have used a deadly weapon in the commission of the offense and the minor was previously adjudicated as a delinquent or convicted as an adult, as a result of an offense that involved used of a deadly weapon in the commission of a crime against a person, or (4) misconduct involving a weapon in the first degree under AS 11.62.190(a)(1), or AS 11.62.190(a)(2) when the firearm was discharged under circumstances manifesting substantial and unjustifiable risk of physical injury to a person. AS 47.12.030(a).

There are other offenses that also are handled outside the juvenile delinquency statute, so that records and proceedings are open to the extent they would be if adults were involved. With respect to these following alleged offenses, minors are treated as adults regardless of their age and must have their parent or guardian present at all proceedings: violations of (1) a traffic statute or regulation, or a traffic ordinance or regulation of a municipality, (2) AS 11.76.105, relating to underage possession of tobacco, (3) a fish and game statute or regulation under AS 16, (4) a parks and recreational facilities statute or regulation under AS 41.21, (5) AS 04.16.050, relating to possession, control or consumption of alcohol, except for conduct constituting habitual minor consuming or in possession or control under AS 04.16.050(d), and (6) a municipal curfew ordinance, whether adopted under AS 29.35.085 or otherwise, unless the municipality provides for enforcement of its ordinance under AS 29.25.070(b) by the municipality. AS 47.12.030(b). Similarly, minors involved in driver's license proceedings under AS 28.15.185 are treated as adults, except that their parents or legal guardian must be present at all proceedings. AS 47.12.030(c). Also, if a court finds at a hearing that there is probable cause for believing that a minor is delinquent but not amenable to treatment under AS 47.12, it will order the case closed and the minor may be prosecuted as an adult. AS 47.12.100.

An order entered by the court under AS 47.12.120 that a minor or minor's parent must pay restitution is a civil judgment that remains enforceable after expiration of the court's jurisdiction over the minor. Information relating to a restitution order, including information about the minor and the recipient of the order, may be forwarded to the Department of Law for assistance in enforcing it. This information is confidential, and not subject to inspection as a public record. AS 47.12.170(c).

Court dealing with juvenile delinquency records must keep records of all cases. Except when disclosure of the name of a minor is authorized or required by AS 47.12, the name or picture of a minor under the jurisdiction of the court may not be made public in connection with the minor's status as a delinquent unless authorized by the court, AS 47.12.300(c). In the past, there have been isolated threats to employ this statute against the news media when broadcasters or print reporters have run the name or a picture of individuals involved in court proceedings who are juveniles. The statute makes violation of this provision a misdemeanor, punishable by fine or imprisonment. Any such attempt to apply the statute to prohibit or punish the news media's publication of names or pictures they have obtained is almost certainly unconstitutional. Under the First Amendment, there can be no civil or criminal liability for the publication of truthful information lawfully obtained. A practical effect of the statute is that it operates as a restraint on court officials or public employees who may be asked to provide the information or photo at issue. As noted herein, juveniles are treated as adults in connection with a variety of offenses, so the prohibitions of AS 47.12.300 against releasing names and photos do not apply on such cases.

An exception to the general rule against nondisclosure provides that when a district attorney has elected to seek imposition of a dual sentence and a petition has been filed under AS 47.12.065, or when a minor agrees as part of a plea agreement to be subject to dual sentencing, all court records must be open to the public except for predisposition reports, psychiatric and psychological reports, and other documents that the court orders to be kept confidential because the release of the documents could be harmful to the minor or could violate the constitutional rights of the victim or other persons. AS 47.12.300(g).

Agency records pertaining to juvenile delinquency matters are also generally confidential. With certain exceptions, all information and social records pertaining to a minor who is subject to AS 47.12 or AS 47.17 prepared by or in the possession of a federal, state or municipal agency or employee in the discharge of the agency's or employee's official duty, including driver's license actions under AS 28.15.185, are privileged and may not be disclosed directly or indirectly to anyone without a court order. AS 47.12.310. A state or municipal law enforcement agency may disclose to the public information regarding a criminal offense in which the minor is a suspect, victim or witness if the minor is not identified by the disclosure, AS 47.12.310(c)(2), and may disclose to the public information regarding a case as may be necessary to protect the safety of the public. AS 47.12.310(c)(4). The department may release to a person with a legitimate interest information relating to minors not subject to the jurisdiction of the court under AS 47.12, and is required to adopt regulations governing such release and identifying sufficient legitimate interest. AS 47.12.310(f). Also, a state or municipal agency other than a law enforcement agency may disclose to the public information regarding a case as may be necessary to protect the safety of the public provided the disclosure is authorized by regulations adopted by the department. AS 47.12.310(i).

The law provides that the department may take, or be ordered to take, appropriate action to adjust matters relating to alleged juvenile delinquencies without a court hearing under circumstances set forth in AS 47.12.040(a)(1) and AS 47.12.040(a)(2), notwithstanding AS 47.12.310. In such cases, the agency shall, for a minor who is at least 13 years old at the time of the commission of the offense, disclose to the public the name of the minor, the name or names of the parent, parents or guardian of the minor, the action required by the agency to be taken to adjust the matter, and information about the offense exclusive of information that identifies the victim of the offense, if the minor was, under AS 47.12.020, previously alleged to be a delinquent minor on the basis of the minor's commission of at least one offense and, on the basis of that allegation, a state agency has, under AS 47.12.040(a), been asked to make a preliminary inquiry to determine if any action on that matter is appropriate, and, if the minor is alleged to be a delinquent minor on the basis of the minor's commission of another offense, exercise of agency jurisdiction is based on the minor's alleged commission of that other offense, and that other offense is one of the following: [A] a crime against a person punishable as a felony; [B] a crime in which the minor employed a deadly weapon in committing the crime; [C] arson; [D] burglary; [E] distribution of child pornography; [F] promoting prostitution; [G] certain misconduct involving a controlled substance. AS 47.12.315(a).

The law also provides that the department shall publicly disclose the name of a minor and the minor's parent(s) or guardian, the alleged offense exclusive of information identifying the victim, and the outcome of any delinquency proceedings before the court if the department files with the court a petition seeking adjudication of the minor as a delinquent based on one of three circumstances: [1] the minor's alleged commission of an offense, when 13 or older, and the minor has knowingly failed to comply with all terms and conditions required by the department or imposed by court order; [2] the minor's alleged commission, when 13 or older, of an offense of one of the following: [A] a crime against a person punishable as a felony; [B] a crime in which the minor employed a deadly weapon in committing the crime; [C] arson; [D] burglary; [E] distribution of child pornography; [F] promoting prostitution; [G] certain misconduct involving a controlled substance, AS 47.12.315(b); or [3] the minor's alleged commission of a felony when 16 or older, when the minor has previously been convicted or adjudicated a delinquent minor based on the minor's commission of an offense that is a felony. AS 47.12.315(c).

If an agency or the court determines pursuant to AS 47.12 that delinquency proceedings should be dismissed and that the minor is not a delinquent, the minor may request the Department of Health and Social Services to disclose information about the matter or the case to the public. If the minor makes such a request, the agency shall disclose to the public information about the disposition of the matter or case without identifying the victim of the alleged offense. AS 47.12.315(c).

When the department or other agency discloses information as required by AS 47.12.315, it may not disclose the name of any foster parent or other out-of-home provider with whom the minor was living at the time the alleged offense was committed. AS 47.12.315(d)(1). If the information to be disclosed is maintained by electronic means that can be recovered from a computer database, the disclosing department or agency may disclose the information in that medium. AS 47.12.315(d)(2).

Subsections (e) and (g) of AS 47.12.315 address limitations on release of information based on when predicate offenses occurred, and what previous convictions or delinquency adjudications can be considered, based on passage of time, and subject to certain conduct of the minor. Subsection (f) permits the department to petition the court for an order prohibiting otherwise required disclosure based on a finding that the crime was an isolated incident and that the minor does not present any further danger to the public, or that the victim agrees that disclosure is inappropriate.

f. Records Pertaining to Runaways. Records of a licensed program for runaway minors that identify a minor who has been admitted to or has sought assistance from the program are confidential and are not subject to inspection or copying under the public records act, unless (1) after being informed of the minor's right to privacy, the minor consents in writing to the disclosure of the records; (2) the records are relevant to an investigation or proceeding involving child abuse or neglect or a child in need of aid petition; or (3) disclosure of the records is necessary to protect the life or health of the minor. AS 47.10.340. If the Department of Health and Social Services requires record keeping by a shelter for runaways or by a corporation that is licensed to designate shelters for runaways, records of the shelter and the corporation that identify a runaway minor who has been sheltered in a shelter for runaways or has sought assistance from a shelter for runaways are confidential and are not subject to inspection or copying under the public records act, subject to the same three exceptions, including the minor's informed written consent. AS 47.10.396.

g. Community Dispute Resolution Centers. Memoranda, work notes or products, or case files of community dispute resolution centers for matters involving minors, established under AS 47.12.450, are confidential and privileged and are not subject to disclosure in any judicial or administrative proceeding unless the court or administrative tribunal determines that the materials were submitted by a participant to the center for the purpose of avoiding discovery of the material in a subsequent proceeding. AS 47.12.450(e).

h. Standardized Forms Used For Detained Juveniles. For the purpose of collecting statistics, the Department of Health and Social Services requires state and local agencies that operate a jail or other detention facility to use a standardized form established by the Department to keep a record and report the admission of a minor. The record must be limited to the name of the minor admitted, the minor's date of birth, the specific offense for which the minor was admitted, the date and time admitted, the date and time released, the sex of the minor, the ethnic origin of the minor, and other information required by federal law. Except for the notation of the date and time of the minor's release, the record shall be prepared at the time of the minor's admission. Unless otherwise provided by law, information and records obtained under this section are confidential and are not public records. They may be disclosed only for the purpose of compiling statistics and in a manner that does not reveal the identity of the minor. AS 47.14.030.

i. Child Protection. The law requires various reports to be filed and investigations to be made when there is indication that harm is being done to children by parents or others. Such investigation reports and reports of harm are confidential. AS 47.17.040.

j. Multidisciplinary Child Protection Teams. The Department of Health and Social Services has created multidisciplinary child protection teams to assist in the evaluation and investigation of reports made under AS 47.17 and to provide consultation and coordination for agencies involved in child protection cases under AS 47.10. Except for a public report issued by a team that does not contain confidential information, records or other information collected by the team or a member of the team related to duties under this section are confidential and not subject to public disclosure under the public records act. AS 47.14.300(d).

k. Services for Developmentally Delayed or Disabled Children. Services are provided for developmentally delayed or disabled children under AS 47.20.060 - 47.20.290. The Department of Health and Social Services has established a system for compiling data on the numbers of children and their families in the state who need early intervention services, the numbers being served, the types of services provided, and other information as required under federal law for this program. Personally identifiable information obtained under this chapter is confidential for purposes of the public records act. AS 47.20.110(b).

l. Protection of the Elderly. Similarly, investigation reports and reports of abandonment, exploitation, abuse, neglect or self-neglect of a vulnerable adult filed pursuant to this law are confidential, except that the Department of Health and Social Services must disclose a report of such harm if the vulnerable adult who is the subject of it consents in writing. Also, the department must upon request disclose the number of verified reports of abandonment, exploitation, abuse, neglect or self-neglect of vulnerable adults that occurred at an institution that provides care for vulnerable adults, or were the result of the actions or inactions of a public home care provider. AS 47.24.050.

m. Temporary Assistance Programs. The Department of Health and Social Services administers a temporary assistance program providing cash assistance, diversion payments, and self-sufficiency services to needy children and their families, establishing regional public assistance programs, establishing program standards for incentives to work, and engaging in related activities. Information received from an applicant for or participant in the Alaska temporary assistance program shall be treated as confidential by all state agencies that share the information under this section and is not open to public inspection or copying under the public records act. AS 47.27.055(b).

n. Alaska Native Family Assistance Grants. The Department of Health and Social Services may award and administer Alaska Native family assistance grants in accordance with this AS 47.27.200. Records pertaining to recipients of assistance from an Alaska Native family assistance grant awarded under this section are confidential public assistance records under AS 47.05.020 and regulations adopted under AS 47.05.020. Use and misuse of these records are subject to the provisions of AS 47.05.030. AS 47.27.200(g). Regional public assistance programs can also serve eligible state residents not already covered by a federally approved tribal family assistance plan in that region. AS 47.27.300. Records pertaining to recipients of state public assistance under a contract awarded for such regional public assistance programs have the same confidential protections as are provided to recipients of assistance from Alaska Native family assistance grants under AS 47.27.200. AS 47.27.300(d).

o. Mentally Ill and Insane Persons. The Department of Social Services is required to adopt regulations to ensure patient rights and to safeguard the confidential nature of records and information about recipients for state services for mentally ill and insane persons. Local community entities working with these individuals through the state are also required to develop and submit for approval a plan that adequately safeguards confidential information about these individuals. AS 47.30.660 - .915 are the Alaska civil commitment statutes, governing the legal rights of persons suffering from mental illness. These statutes cover both voluntary and involuntary admissions for treatment. AS 47.30.840 describes rights to privacy and personal possessions of individuals receiving such treatment. In part, it states that a person undergoing evaluation or treatment may not be photographed without the person's consent and that of the person's guardian if a minor. The person may be photographed upon admission to a facility for identification and for administrative purposes of the facility, but all such photographs are confidential and may only be released by the facility to the patient or pursuant to court order.

p. Patient Records. Information and records obtained in the course of a screening investigation, evaluation, examination or treatment of patients under the state civil commitment statute are confidential. The patient or an individual to whom the patient has given written consent can obtain these records. AS 47.30.845. Also, a person doing research may obtain the records if anonymity of the patient is assured and the facility recognizes the project as a "bona fide research or statistical undertaking." Whether in particular circumstances a newspaper article might ever qualify for such treatment is probably a subject for negotiation with the facility or conceivably for resolution by the courts. The law also provides for either expungement or sealing of all court records pertaining to proceedings following the discharge of a person from a treatment facility or the issuance of a court order denying a petition for commitment, if the court finds that such action is appropriate. AS 47.30.850.

q. Community Mental Health Services. The Department of Health and Social Services is authorized to review, obtain and copy confidential and other records and information about the clients of services requested or furnished under the Community Mental Health Services Act to evaluate compliance with the act. The department may obtain the records and information regarding clients from the client or directly from an entity furnishing those services. Records so obtained are confidential medical records, exempt from public inspection and copying under the public records act. AS 47.30.590.

r. Mental Health Treatment Assistance. The Department of Health and Social Services is required to provide financial assistance to qualified needy patients who have received mental health evaluation or treatment at an evaluation facility or a designated treatment facility that is not a state-operated hospital. The department is authorized to review, obtain and copy confidential and other records and information about the patients who were eligible for or were provided financial assistance to evaluate compliance with the law, from the patient or directly from the evaluation facility or the designated treatment facility. Records so obtained by the department are medical records, to be handled confidentially, and are exempt from public inspection and copying under the public records act. AS 47.31.032.

s. Centralized Licensing and Related Administrative Procedures for Social Service Entities. The Legislature has established centralized licensing and related administrative procedures for the delivery of services by a host of social service entities, including shelters, clinics, medical and psychiatric facilities, foster, maternity and assisted living homes, hospices, child care facilities, birth centers and others, and addresses requirements for obtaining and keeping licenses, non-renewals or denials of or conditions on licenses, complaints against and investigations of licensees, for hearings, for reports on the results of investigations and inspections, and for enforcement actions. AS 47.32.010 - 47.32.900. Except as otherwise provided by law, complaints, investigations and inspections relating to licensed entities or other subject, or records related to a complaint, investigation or inspection, and the identity of a complainant and of individuals receiving services from an entity, are confidential and can't be disclosed to the public without a court order. With the exception of information that identifies a complainant or a recipient of services from an entity, a copy of the Department of Health and Social Services' report of investigation or inspection under AS 47.32.120, an entity's written response to the report, and information regarding any department imposition of an enforcement action under AS 47.32.130 or 47.32.140 are public records under AS 40.25. The department shall make this information available to the public for inspection and copying after the (1) entity receives its copy of the report of investigation under AS 47.32.120, if the department has determined that an enforcement action under AS 47.32.130 or 47.32.140 will not be taken regarding the entity; (2) department's notice of enforcement action under AS 47.32.130 or 47.32.140 becomes a final administrative order without a hearing under AS 47.32.130 (c) or 47.32.140(i); or (3) issuance of a decision following a hearing under AS 47.32.150. AS 47.32.180.

t.  Newborn and Infant Hearing Screening, Tracking, and Intervention Program.  The Department of Health and Social Services is required to develop and implement a reporting and tracking system for newborns and infants screened for hearing loss. The information reported under this program must be compiled and maintained by the department in the tracking system, and must be kept confidential in accordance with the applicable provisions of 20 U.S.C. 1439 (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), as amended by P.L. 105-17. Data collected by the department that was obtained from the medical records of the newborn or infant shall be for the confidential use of the department and are not public records subject to disclosure under Alaska’s Public Records Act. Aggregate statistical data without identifying information compiled from the information received is public information. AS 47.20.320(a), (c). 

u. Alcoholism, Intoxication and Drug Treatment. The laws providing for temporary protective custody of people who are intoxicated or incapacitated by alcohol state that this detention does not constitute an arrest and no entry or other record may be made to indicate that the person detained has been arrested or charged with a crime, except that a confidential record may be made which is necessary for the administrative purposes of the facility to which the person has been taken, or which is necessary for statistical purposes where the person's name may not be disclosed. AS 47.37.170. Likewise the registration and other records of treatment facilities are confidential. AS 47.37.210.

v. Long Term Care Ombudsman. Records obtained or maintained by the office of the "long term care ombudsman," now under the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, are confidential and not subject to disclosure under the public records act, but may be disclosed at the discretion of the ombudsman provided that the identity of a complainant or an older Alaskan on whose behalf a complaint is made may not be disclosed without the consent of the identified person or the person's legal guardian, unless required by court order. AS 47.62.030.