Government Records Utah: Where to Obtain Government Records for the State of Utah?
The 45th state admitted into the USA in Utah. This is one of the most densely populous states that is the center of education, IT, mining, government services, and recreation. In Utah, government records are managed by the Utah Government and any citizen of the state can request access to these records.
The Government Record Access and Management Act ( GRAMA) are series of laws designed by the state of Utah that help the public to access records of government bodies at all level ( state and federal levels). Generally, public government records are used to perform background checks for employment and home rental purposes.
What are Government Records?
The government records are documents, photographs, files, video recordings, evidence, court orders, vital records, criminal records, etc. that are created, maintained and updated by the government bodies. The Utah Government has established fair and reasonable government record management and access practices. The Utah GRAMA states that constitutional rights define the individual’s right to access information related to public business and government policies.
The act also restricts the share of private data related to an individual as it breaches the information security act. With due permission from the concerned, private information from government records is allowed to be shared on public platforms. Also, the GRAMA act allows the government to restrict access to certain records for the best interest of the public:
- The public has the right and ease of accessibility of government records
- Abuse of government records is curtailed
- Well defined guidelines are defined to access and use government records of Utah
List of Government records that can be obtained for access
The GRAMA act allows the following government to record access for the public of Utah
- Public records like vital records, criminal records, university mark cards, jail, and inmates records
- Personalized information of government employees
- Open meeting minutes
- Government policies and memos
The Utah State Records Committee (https://ballotpedia.org/Utah_State_Records_Committee) is a part of the Utah Government record Access and management act whose aim is to assist the state in applying open records act implementation and managing record access request. The committee meets once in three months, reviews the record access requests and grants access for the public to access government records.
How to request Government record access in Utah?
Though the government allows every citizen to access government records, the state has drafted specific requirements for requesting government record access.
- The first step to access a government record is to create a public record request. One can write a professional request letter that includes the reason for accessing the record and the list of records that have to be accessed. The alternate way is to use an FOI letter generator and prepare a request. The details related to the records requested has to be explicit and clear
- The second step is to contact a public body from where the details of the record management agency can be obtained. For example, the phone numbers and website details are available with the public body.
- The public body includes record keepers, clerks, external affairs departments, communication department and main offices of the state’s administrative office
- The next step includes reviewing the request and submitting the same at FOI
- Generally, every request will take 30-45 days for processing. One has to keep in touch with the FOI liaison and try to gather updates related to the government record requested
- The help of an attorney can be used if one is trying to access coveted information like jail inmate details or criminal records of a judicial discussion.
- Alternatively, one can try and gather information related to a government record from public school, government office, hospital, police department or law enforcement agency
- The request to access the government record can be sent by:
- Certified mail
- Deliver in-person to the state archives department
- https://www.utah.gov/index.html is the official website of the Utah government. The https://secure.utah.gov/vitalrecords/ is the website from where public records can be accessed safe and secure.
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