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March Updates
This monthly newsletter features content exclusively for
Appointed Records Officers.
Training Update
In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, we have postponed our April trainings. The RIM 101 training on May 7th will now be taught as a webinar. We will make a final decision on the May trainings shortly and get the word out.
Register Now
RIM Specialists Update
The RIM specialists are working from home until further notice.
You can contact your RIM specialist by emailing or calling them directly, or by emailing recordsmanagement@utah.gov; they will not be answering the general phone number, 801-531-3863, at this time. If they need to call you back, they will do so using Google Hangouts, which will most likely show up on your phone as a call from New York or another state. You do not need to have a Google account or the Hangouts app in order to answer the phone call.
GRAMA + Telecommuting
With so many people working remotely a few questions have come up with regard to GRAMA requests.
 
Q: Since employees are not present in the office, it may be difficult to respond to a records request within the allowed ten days. What if we are not able to respond within the allotted time?
A: This is where you just have to do the best you can. No one could have imagined or had the foresight to include a pandemic on the list of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ in Utah Code § 63G-2-204(6). Yet, certainly the fact that no one is in the office to respond to a request is an extraordinary circumstance, and should be treated like one. As outlined in Utah Code § 63G-2-204(7)(c), you should respond by informing the requester of this extraordinary circumstance and giving them an estimate of when records or a response will be provided. If you communicate and do your best, the public is likely to be understanding even if you are technically not able to comply with the statute. 
 
Q: Some employees who are working from home are now using personal computers for their work. Does that make their personal computer subject to GRAMA?
A: The records all employees create as part of doing their job are subject to request regardless of the device used. A computer is not a record, but a storage device, so the question is really whether the personal computer will be subject to search in response to a GRAMA request. It is highly unlikely that any governmental entity would need to access or search an employee’s personal computer in order to respond to a records request. Most likely, records created will be accessible because they will be saved on a government network. If not, the governmental entity would likely ask for records to be forwarded, and would never expect anyone to produce a personal computer for government personnel to search. 
POSTPONED Sunshine Conference
As a precaution to limit the spread of COVID-19 we have decided to postpone the Sunshine Conference that was scheduled for March 31st. The 2019 Sunshine Conference is available to view on our YouTube channel.
Watch 2019 Sunshine Conference
Earthquake Update
We are happy to report that the Utah State Archives building did not sustain any damage after the earthquake on March 18th. The records held by the Utah State Archives are stored in a state-of-the-art facility designed to withstand a much more substantial earthquake than what we experienced last week. Unfortunately, the historic Rio Grande Depot building, which houses the joint State History and State Archives public research room did sustain some damage, however no serious damage to State History's collections. The building is currently closed to the public but our Research Archivists are happy to help over the phone or by email! Our temporary number is 801-531-3847 or you can email us at historyresearch@utah.gov.
Staff Update
After more than 30 years of service to Utah State Archives, Glen Fairclough has retired. The Archives staff wishes him well, and thanks him particularly for his service as administrator of the Public Notice Website. Going forward, Dylan Mace will be administering the Public Notice Website as well as the Open Records Portal. For assistance, you may call him at 801-531-3853, or email him at dylanmace@utah.gov.
State Records Management Committee Update
The State Records Management Committee (RMC) cancelled their meeting in March due to COVID-19, but will most likely hold their meeting remotely in April.
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