Right to Know
“[A]ny agency, board, department, commission, committee, branch, instrumentality, or authority of the state or any agency, board, committee, department, branch, instrumentality, commission, or authority of any political subdivision of the state” is obligated by law to provide access to public records for inspection, use, and copying (1 V.S.A. §§ 315-320). To help public agencies meet this mandate, the Vermont State Archives has developed the Right to Know database, a searchable index of Vermont’s public records laws.
It is important for all public agencies to have clear and concise policies and procedures for receiving and responding to public records requests and for complying with Vermont’s Public Records Law (1 V.S.A. §§ 315-320). When possible, standards of practice should be uniformly adopted by public agencies that work closely together or share similar records and information.
In addition to the Right to Know database, there are guides that address access to public records, including:
- Continuing Issues: Access to Public Records (2011)
- Vermont’s Public Records Law (April 2009)
- Legislative Council Report on Public Records Requirements in Vermont (January 2007)
- Legislative Council Report on Public Records, Privacy, and Electronic Access (January 2005)
- Justice Department Guide to the Freedom of Information Act (May 2004)
- A Matter of Public Record: A Guide to Vermont’s Public Records Law (June 2002)
- Rules Governing Dissemination of Electronic Case Records (March 2002)
- Rules for Public Access to Court Records (October 2000)