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Arkansas Public Record Laws

Website & Social Media Archiving for Arkansas State Agencies

Do you represent an Arkansas State Government Agency and wondering how you should archive all your web and social media content? Are you trying to determine what you need to do both from a legal and a technical point of view? Here’s a guide to the different Laws and processes you should follow.

What Laws govern Records Management in the State of Arkansas?

Arkansas Freedom of Information Act 1967 governs open and social media records in the State of Arkansas. This act is notably one of the most comprehensive and strongest open-records (and open-meetings) laws in the United States.

Do Arkansas Records Laws include Website and Social Media content?

Yes, they do. NARA state that there is a “[P]ublic expectation that all web content is both permanently valuable and accessible” – and so social media and web records are subject to these standards as well as the relevant metadata being pertinent to these laws.

Subject to Arkansas FOIA, “Public records” means “[W]ritings … electronic or computer-based information, or data compilations in any medium … that constitute a record of the performance or lack of performance of official functions that are or should be carried out by a public official or employee, a governmental agency, or any other agency or improvement district that is wholly or partially supported by public funds or expending public funds. All records maintained in public offices or by public employees within the scope of their employment shall be presumed to be public records.” Ark. Code Ann. § 25-19-103(5)(A).

Though social media and online content is not specifically provided within legislation nor does any case law addressing this matter exist, as public record includes “electronic or computer-based” it should be treated as such.

What agencies are subject to these laws?

Records of a “public official or employee” and a “governmental agency” are covered by the FOIA. Ark. Code. Ann. § 25-19-103(5)(A).

What is my agency required to do in line with these regulations?

Given the open and transparent nature of governance in the State of Arkansas, there is an onus on each state agency, board, and commission to fulfill a number of duties in line with the FOIA, including preparing and making available a list and general description of its records, including computer databases.

Your agency website must be retained in electronic format and remain usable, searchable, retrievable and authentic for the length of the designated retention period as established by the agency and/ or form of record in question and content placed on state agency social media should be moderated by an authorized, trained staff member.

All materials made available by a state agency, board, or commission pursuant to subsection (a) section 25-19-108(5) and created after July 1, 2003, shall be made publicly accessible, without charge, in electronic form via the Internet.

In which form do I need to archive my records?

Web sites must be retained in their original format: HTML, CSS, PDF etc, and materials made available subject to 25-19-108(5)(a) should be made available in electronic format. A requester may specify another medium or format under § 25-19- 105(d)(2)(B).

How can we transfer website archives made with PageFreezer to the Arkansas Digital Archives?

PageFreezer exports all data on request in the original file format including the required metadata. This data set can be transferred by FTP or by other means to the Arkansas State or Agency Digital Archives.

How can PageFreezer help our agency?

PageFreezer has been working on our Archiving technology and processes since 2006 – We know how to properly archive Web Sites, Blogs and Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn and Instagram. Just ask any of our over 500 clients including US Cities, Counties and other Government Agencies as well as Multinationals, Financial Service Firms, Healthcare Providers …

Our clients know our technology is secure, reliable and authenticated. More importantly they appreciate the ease-of-use.

That’s why our complex technology is simple to use – The archiving is automatic and retrieval is a matter of signing in, going to the date you want, and browsing your site just like you did when the content was just published.

If you have questions about any of this or about how to actually implement effective Online Public Records management start a free trial, schedule a demo or contact us directly.


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Arkansas FOIA Handbook