New GRAMA Bill Advances Unanimously

(KCPW News) Following last year’s uproar over major changes to Utah’s Government Records Access and Management Act, or GRAMA, a bill that makes smaller tweaks to the open records law unanimously passed out of a Senate committee this morning. Republican Senator Curt Bramble’s SB 177 is the product of the GRAMA working group, which included lawmakers, business leaders and the media.

“I was impressed with the willingness to negotiate in good faith from the media,” said Bramble. “This is not just a one-way street, because this bill does clarify and strengthen the notion that private means private if it’s not related to your capacity as a government official or the people’s business, and I think that’s important.”

The legislation also creates a government records ombudsman in the State Division of Archives and Records Service, and requires local records officers to complete an online training course every year. It also changes the law’s language to require a record to be disclosed when the public interest is greater than or equal to the interest in keeping it private. Senate Bill 177 now goes to the Senate floor.