A legislative task force co-chaired by Senator Dave Thomas, Republican from South Weber, and Douglas Aagard, Republican from Kaysville, has gone far beyond its mandated purpose of protecting the public from identity theft. They have been cutting and slashing The Government Records Access and Manage-ment Act (GRAMA) and generally running amok by adding amendments to it. The GRAMA law which has served well the past 13 years is about to become an instrument of governmental secrecy. Correspondence, in-cluding e-mails and memos, between legislators and any citizen of Utah would be hidden from public view. “Utah citizen” could mean communications between legislators, their staffs or anyone. That pretty well closes all windows and doors to the public.
In addition, if you want to look at a public document you may or may not be able to have access to it. Who will make that decision? The clerk behind the counter will have that power. This is amok at its best. To add insult to injury, you will be required to pay a fee to see a public document that was generated with taxpayer money.
Don’t let this happen. Take action. Write, phone, e-mail, or fax the above legislators and let them know your feelings about what they are doing to GRAMA.
If these changes to GRAMA are allowed to take place then, to use a phrase from a speech by Winston Churchill, “a curtain of iron will descend” between the public and their government.
Robert Van Velkinburgh