Topeka – Governor Jeff Colyer’s issues Executive Order on open records policy and transparency in the use of official e-mail.

Full text below:

EXECUTIVE ORDER 18-06

Open Records Policy and Transparency
Regarding Use of E-Mail

WHEREAS, the public has a strong interest in openness and transparency in the conduct of government; and

WHEREAS, the Kansas Open Records Act provides the legal framework for openness and transparency in the maintenance of government documents and records for the State of Kansas; and

WHEREAS, the Kansas Legislature in 2016 enacted new requirements, codified at K.S.A. 45-217(g), affecting electronic communications “by any officer or employee of a public agency pursuant to the officer’s or employee’s official duties and which is related to the functions, activities, programs or operations of any public agency;” and

WHEREAS, the public interest in openness and transparency, and compliance with the Kansas Open Records Act 2016 amendments, is best served by implementation of a clearly defined policy regarding the use of electronic communications in the Office of the Governor.

NOW THEREFORE, pursuant to the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Kansas, I hereby order as follows:

1. All officers and employees in the Office of the Governor shall, upon commencing their employment, execute the attached “Policy Regarding Use of Private E-mail Accounts.” The executed Policy shall be retained as part of each employee’s personnel file in the Office of the Governor.

2. Any violations of the Policy shall constitute grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal of any officer or employee in the Office of the Governor.

3. This Order is intended to supplement existing laws and regulations concerning the Kansas Open Records Act, and shall not be interpreted to in any way diminish such laws and regulations. The Order provides conduct requirements for covered persons, and is not intended to create any new right or benefit enforceable against the State of Kansas.

4. Persons seeking to report violations of this Order, or guidance regarding the application or interpretation of this Order, may contact the Office of the Governor regarding such matters.

This document shall be filed with the Secretary of State as Executive Order No. 18-06 and shall become effective immediately.