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3. Commission or agency enforcement

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  • Alaska

    The public records act provides no specific provision for enforcement of the act within the affected commission or agency, other than to direct compliance with the law.

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  • Arizona

    Not addressed.

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  • Arkansas

    No commission or agency is charged with FOIA enforcement.

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  • California

    Local ordinances governing access to public meetings and public records (commonly referred to as sunshine ordinances) often provide for administrative review of agency decisions, though determinations are generally recommendatory and unenforceable. Aggrieved individuals should ascertain whether their municipality has a sunshine ordinance and, if so, what procedures are provided for review of agency denials. Some state agencies may also have similar procedures for review of agency denials.

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  • Connecticut

    FOIA is enforced by the Freedom of Information Commission (FOIC), which consists of five members appointed by the governor with the approval of the legislature and four members appointed by other officials. See Conn. Gen. Stat. §1-205. The FOIC is charged with promptly reviewing any alleged violation of FOIA and issuing orders regarding such allegations. The commission has the power to investigate allegations, including the power to hold hearings, administer oaths, examine witnesses, receive oral and documentary evidence, subpoena witnesses, and require the production of books and papers it deems relevant to the investigation. Conn. Gen. Stat. §1-205.

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  • Delaware

    Not applicable.

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  • District of Columbia

    The D.C. Act contemplates appeals of adverse decisions by individual petitioners, not commission or agency enforcement. D.C. Code Ann. § 2-537(a).

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  • Florida

    In 2007, the Governor created the Office of Open Government, intended to ensure compliance with the state’s open government and public records laws.  Fla. Exec. Order No. 07-01 (2007).  The Order directed each agency to designate a person to act as the agency’s “public records/open government contact person,” who would be responsible for complying with open government and public records requests.  See id. 

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  • Hawaii

    The UIPA requires the OIP to disseminate information on access. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 92F-42(11) (Supp. 1999). To facilitate dissemination of information on government records to the public, the OIP maintains a computerized database of the records reports received from state agencies. Id. § 92F-18(b) (requiring agencies to submit to OIP annual reports on records they maintain and on requests for access received). This allows public users of the state's computerized information network to access statistical information, including "the percentage of each agency's records that are public or confidential, the number of written record inquiries received by the agency, and the number granted or denied in the previous fiscal year." OIP, RRS to be Available on HAWAII FYI, OIP Openline (newsletter), July 1992, at 1.

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  • Idaho

    Not available.

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  • Illinois

    See “Attorney General’s role” above.

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  • Indiana

    The Act neither requires nor provides for enforcement procedures by a commission or agency. A person denied access should seek the intervention of the state Public Access Counselor, not only to facilitate access but also to lay the foundation for entitlement to attorney fees if litigation is required. Ind. Code § 5-14-3-9(i).

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  • Iowa

    The Iowa Public Information Board was created in 2013 pursuant to Iowa Code Chapter 23.  The Board investigates complaints alleging violation of Iowa Code Chapters 21 and 22 and seek resolution to those.  The board is authorized by statute to issue advice, or declaratory orders with the force of law, regarding the applicability of the open records and open meetings laws.

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  • Kentucky

    Each agency is required to adopt rules regarding its compliance with the Kentucky Open Records Act and to designate an official custodian of records. Ky. Rev. Stat. 61.876.

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  • Maryland

    Maryland has established a State Public Information Act Compliance Board for the purpose of resolving unreasonable fee complaints; studying ongoing compliance by custodians; and making recommendations for improvement to the General Assembly. § 4-1A-04(a), (b). Annually, the Board submits a report to the Governor describing its activities and opinions, complaints filed, and recommendations for improvement. § 4-1A-04(c).  The Board consists of 5 members, one of whom is from a Maryland non-governmental, non-profit organization that works on issues related to transparency or open government and is nominated by representatives of the open government and news media communities.  § 4-1A-02(a)(2)(i).  Another member of the Board must be knowledgeable about the Public Information Act, have served as a custodian, and been nominated by the Maryland Association of Counties and the Maryland Municipal League. § 4-1A-02(a)(2)(ii). The other 3 members are private citizens who cannot be a custodian of a public record, a member of the news media, or a staff member or spokesperson for an organization that represents the interests of either custodians or applicants. § 4-1A-02(a)(2)(iii). At least one of the 5 members must be an attorney admitted in the State. § 4-1A-02(a)(3). The term for members of the Board is generally 3 years.  § 4-1A-02(c).

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  • Massachusetts

    Division of Public Records and Supervisor of Public Records.

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  • Michigan

    There is no commission or agency enforcement of the FOIA.

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  • Minnesota

    A party aggrieved by a decision not to allow access to data may ask the Commissioner of Administration to issue an opinion with respect to the nature of the data sought. Minn. Stat.§ 13.072, subd. 1(a). The opinions are not binding on a public agency, but must be given deference by a court in a proceeding regarding the data. Minn. Stat.§ 13.072, subd. 2. An aggrieved party may also seek a hearing with the Office of Administrative Hearings. Minn. Stat. § 13.085.

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  • Mississippi

    The Mississippi Ethics Commission (http://www.ethics.state.ms.us/ethics/ethics.nsf) has enforcement power over the act.

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  • Montana

    There is no specific provision for commission or agency enforcement under the act, and most provisions are enforced through citizen-initiated lawsuits. See Mont. Code Ann. § 2-6-107.

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  • Nebraska

    No such provision in the law.

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  • New Hampshire

    There is no commission or agency to enforce the law.

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  • New Jersey

    A person who is denied access to a government record may file a complaint with the Government Records Council established pursuant to OPRA. (See N.J.S.A. 47:1A-6).

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  • New York

    As stated above, an agency’s compliance with FOIL’s search-and-disclose obligations is committed in the first instance to the agency’s interpretation of the statutory exemptions and any applicable case law.

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  • North Dakota

    The open records statute does not address commission or agency enforcement.

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  • Ohio

    There is no administrative agency that enforces the Public Records Act.

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  • Oregon

    A person challenging the denial of a records request to a public body other than a state agency or elected official can seek review from the district attorney in which the public body is located. ORS 192.415 (formerly ORS 192.460).

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  • Rhode Island

    No specific provision.

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  • South Dakota

    Yes. As of 2008 there has been a hearing examiner procedure, but no cases have been presented yet that involve the open records law that went into effect on July 1, 2009. SDCL §1-27-38.

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  • Texas

    Section 552.009 establishes an open records steering committee that shall study and determine the types of public info that should be made available by the Internet or other electronic means. State governmental bodies shall report to the attorney general information regarding the number and nature of requests for information they process, the cost of processing such requests and the cost of making information available to the public by means of the Internet or another electronic format. Tex. Gov’t Code § 552.010.

    A requestor who believes he or she has been overcharged may lodge a complaint with the Office of the Attorney General. Tex. Gov’t Code § 552.269.

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  • Utah

    The State Records Committee consists of seven individuals, including “(a) an individual in the private sector whose profession requires the individual to create or manage records that if created by a governmental entity would be private or controlled; (b) the director of the Division of History or the director’s designee; (c) the governor or the governor’s designee; (e) two citizen members; (f) one person representing political subdivisions, as recommended by the Utah League of Cities and Towns; and (g) one individual representing the news media.” Utah Code § 63G-2-501(1). The Records Committee’s duties include meeting at least once every three months; reviewing and approving retention and disposal of records; hearing appeals from determinations of access as provided by GRAMA; determine disputes submitted by the state auditor; and appointing a chairperson from among its members. See id. § 63G-2-502(1). The Records Committee also may “make rules to govern its own proceedings as provided by . . . the Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act,” and “by order, after notice and hearing, reassign classification and designation for any record series by a governmental entity if the governmental entity’s classification or designation is inconsistent with [GRAMA].” Id. § 63G-2-502(2).

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  • Vermont

    (This section is blank. See the point above.)

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  • Washington

    There is no commission or agency that enforces the Public Records Act. The state Public Disclosure Commission only enforces the campaign finance disclosure aspects of the Public Disclosure Act. RCW 42.17.350, .360, .390.

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  • West Virginia

    Neither the West Virginia Freedom of Information Act nor the West Virginia Open Governmental Proceedings Act provides for commission or agency enforcement.

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