III. STATE LAW ON ELECTRONIC RECORDS

The Delaware Freedom of Information Act does not specifically address access to electronic records. However, the Act defines "public records" to include all information "regardless of the physical form or characteristic by which such information is stored, recorded or reproduced." 29 Del. C. § 10002(g). Thus, the Act reaches public records held in electronic forms, and in fact fields of electronic information have been disclosed to requesting parties.

The Delaware Attorney General has addressed two potential problems with public access to electronic records. First, public access to computer databases that contain exempt information (such as criminal records or information the disclosure of which would violate the individuals' privacy) will not be granted. The Attorney General has recommended to one department that when designing such computer systems, the database should be segregable to permit public access to those parts not exempted by the Act or otherwise. See Del. Op. Att'y Gen., No. 91-I013 (Apr. 17, 1991). Second, a request for access to a database may present an administrative burden to screen the database for exempt material. The request may be denied as a result.