Arizona’s Public Records Law
Arizona law requires all officers and public bodies to maintain records reasonably necessary to provide an accurate accounting of their official activities and of any government funded activities.
Records are defined as books, papers, maps, photographs, or other documentary materials regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received by an governmental agency in pursuance of law or in connection with the transaction of public business and preserved by the agency or its legitimate successor as evidence of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of government. Examples of public records and other matters include calendars, reports, legal memoranda, policies and procedures, accident reports, training videos and materials, tape recordings of meetings where there are no written minutes, personnel records, case files, and data bases.
HB 2053 — Would Amend A.R.S. section 38-431.03. It would essentially add an eighth type of permissible executive session in which a public body can discuss or consult with designated representatives to “DISCUSS SECURITY PLANS, PROCEDURES, ASSESSMENTS, MEASURES OR SYSTEMS RELATING TO, OR HAVING AN IMPACT ON, THE SECURITY OR SAFETY OF BUILDINGS OR FACILITIES AND INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY MAINTAINED BY THE PUBLIC BODY.” The bill would make the “RECORDS, DOCUMENTATION, NOTES, OR OTHER MATERIALS MADE BY, OR PROVIDED TO, THE REPRESENTATIVES” confidential and exempt from disclosure under the public records law. HB 2053 received due pass recommendations from House Government Committee on 1/30/2020 and from House Technology Committee on 1/22.
SB 1042 — Is very similar to HB 2053. SB 1042 passed the Senate with a minor amendment on on 2/13/2020.
SB 1089 — Would amend A.R.S. section 39-121.01 so that a public record cannot be disclosed unless the requester “HAS FURNISHED THE PERSON’S NAME, ADDRESS, TELEPHONE NUMBER AND EMAIL ADDRESS, IF ANY, TO THE PUBLIC BODY.” The bill was passed by the Senate 18-12 on 2/13.
SB 1030: would add A.R.S. section 15-189.07 and amend A.R.S. sections 15-341. The bill would allow the governing boards of charter schools and school districts to “DISCUSS OR CONSIDER AN EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN DEVELOPED PURSUANT TO THIS PARAGRAPH IN EXECUTIVE SESSION. AN EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN IS NOT SUBJECT TO INSPECTION PURSUANT TO TITLE 39, CHAPTER 1, ARTICLE 2. The bill was passed by the Senate 30-0 on 2/13.
Public Records – PUBLICATIONS
- Arizona Ombudsman Public Records Law Booklet
- Arizona Agency Handbook – Chapter 6 (Index of Records Confidential by Statute is Located in Appendix 6.1 and 6.2, p. 16)
- Attorney General Opinions: 1999 to present
- Attorney General Opinions prior to 1999
- Opinion No: I13-012 (R13-018), Re: Charging Copying Fees Under Arizona’s Public Records Law
- Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records – Retention Schedules
- Arizona Ombudsman Public Access Newsletters – The Public Record
Public Records – RESOURCES
- Frequently Asked Questions – General
- Frequently Asked Questions for Journalists
- Best Practices for Custodians of Public Records
- Office of Government Information Services – The Federal FOIA Ombudsman
- Arizona State Library – How and where to find various Arizona records