Public records compromise
Nevada’s public records law lacks accountability, complains Barry Smith, executive director of the Nevada Press Association.
Faced with requests for public records, some state agencies have been known to withhold an entire document instead of simply redacting small sections that may be privileged, Mr. Smith told legislators in Carson City this week.
In other cases, those requesting public records are simply ignored until they go to the expense of filing a lawsuit.
Senate Bill 123, introduced by state Sen. Terry Care, D-Las Vegas, a lawyer and former journalist, is supposed to remedy some of these problems by setting a deadline by which public agencies must reply to such requests.
This is not a requirement that the documents actually be provided within a few days, mind you — SB123 as drafted simply requires agencies to report back within two business days, indicating how long it’s going to take to actually produce the requested information.
This has brought various state and local agency chiefs trooping to the capital, complaining that a two-day response requirement was too short. …
So Sen. Care has now amended his bill to satisfy some of these objections. As the bill now moves on to the Senate Government Affairs Committee, the initial response requirement has been extended to five days … .
Still, SB123 is worth a try. By creating firm guidelines, it should at least make it far easier to single out that small minority of caretakers who decline to operate in good faith.