Agencies may promise by contract not to disclose information that the Act does not require them to disclose, assuming that the contract is within the agency’s authority to enter and is otherwise valid. Campaign for Accountability v. Consumer Credit Research Found., 303 Ga. 828, 837, 815 S.E.2d 841, 849 (2018).
If segregable, non-exempt portions of partially exempt records should be produced. Redaction is often physically done by blocking out allegedly exempt portions. G.L. c. 66, § 10(a); 950 CMR 32.03; Reinstein v. Police Comm'r of Boston, 378 Mass. 281, 287-290, 391 N.E.2d 881 (1979); Globe Newspaper Co. v. Police Comm'r of Boston, 419 Mass. 852, 648 N.E.2d 419 (1995). However, where the necessary redactions would be particularly extensive or burdensome, or might still allow for “indirect identification” of the redacted information, courts may decline production altogether. See, e.g., Globe Newspaper Co. v. Chief Med. Examiner, 404 Mass. 132, 134 n. 2, 533 N.E.2d 1356 (1989) (declining a redaction order where “it would be both burdensome and unnecessary to force the [public record holder] to redact the reports in order to extract the nuggets of nonconfidential information” requested); Logan v. Comm'r of Dept. of Indus. Accidents, 68 Mass. App. Ct. 533, 536-37, 863 N.E.2d 559, 563 (Mass. App. Ct. 2007) (suggesting that a showing of both burden and non-necessity may be required).
Protective orders overcome the Open Records Law. Government contracts with confidentiality agreements generally are subject to the balancing test. SeeJournal Sentinel v. Sch. Bd. of Shorewood, 186 Wis. 2d 443, 521 N.W.2d 165 (Ct. App. 1994).