Computer sever room, ALT=Wyoming public records bill to Governor Gordon

Public documents bill headed to governor

in News/Transparency

By Cowboy State Daily

A measure that would require government officials to turn over public documents within 30 days of receiving a request for their release is on its way to the desk of Gov. Mark Gordon.

Wyoming’s House on Tuesday approved a “joint conference committee” compromise on SF 57, clearing the way for it to be signed into law.

The bill was created after almost a year of work by the Legislature’s Joint Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee. The committee was tasked with the job of making it easier to access public documents.

The bill had originally set a 10-day deadline for documents to be released, however, representatives of special districts such as hospital and irrigation districts argued that sometimes, their staffs would not be able to comply with requests in such a tight deadline. The bill was amended to provide for the 30-day time frame.

The measure also creates a position with the governor’s office of public documents “ombudsman.” That person would be responsible for mediating disputes between those asking for public documents and government entities at every level throughout the state.

Wording differences in the bill prevented its approval earlier. The differences were worked out by the joint conference committee and the resulting language was approved by the Senate on Monday.

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