State appoints public records ombudsman

Published: Thursday, May 3 2012 4:00 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has appointed an ombudsman to oversee fairness and compliance with the state's Government Records Access and Management Act.

Longtime state archives worker Rosemary Cundiff will assume the job created by a bill the Legislature approved earlier this year. Last year, lawmakers approved sweeping changes to GRAMA but repealed them in the wake of public outcry. The idea for an ombudsman came from a committee appointed to study the law.

The Legislature approved the ombudsman position and minor changes to GRAMA earlier this year as result of the committee's work.

Cundiff's job will be to help both the public and state and local government records officers. She can recommend solutions for those who believe they have wrongfully been denied access to government records. The law allows the ombudsman to mediate records access disputes without a hearing before the State Records Committee.

Cundiff has worked with GRAMA as manager of the records analysis section at the Utah State Archives for seven years and has 12 years experience working with records in the division.

“I look forward to helping people gain easier access to government records. I bring to this position a broad knowledge of the records Utah government creates,” Cundiff said. She said she would like to help build more trust between government and Utahns.

A new GRAMA hotline at 801-531-3858, and a GRAMA web form (http://archives.utah.gov/recordsmanagement/forms/ombudsman.html) are available for asking questions about records access.

Dennis Romboy Twitter: dennisromboy

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