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Louisiana Public Record Laws

Website & Social Media Archiving for Louisiana State Agencies

Do you represent a Louisiana 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.

“No person shall be denied the right to . . . examine public documents except in cases established by law.” La. Const. art. XII, § 3.
What Laws govern Records Management in the State of Louisiana?

The Louisiana Public Records Act (La.R.S. 44:1 et seq.) and Louisiana Open Meetings Law La.R.S. 42:4.1 et seq.also known as Louisiana’s Sunshine Law govern social media and Open Records in the state of Louisiana, providing access to records for the public.

Do Louisiana 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.

Section LA 44.01.2(a) defines public records as, “All books, records, writings, accounts, letters ….. or any other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, including information contained in electronic data processing equipment, having been used, being in use, or prepared, possessed, or retained for use in the conduct, transaction, or performance of any business….conducted, transacted, or performed by or under the authority of the constitution or laws of this state … or order of any public body or concerning the receipt or payment of any money received or paid by or under the authority of the constitution or the laws of this state, are “public records”, except as otherwise provided in this Chapter or the Constitution of Louisiana.”

Case Study: Regarding the definition of public and open records

it is “[V]irtually all inclusive. . . . It covers virtually every kind of record and every kind of written, printed or reproduced materials used in the conduct, transaction or performance of any duty or function of a public office. . . .” – Caple v. Brown, 323 So. 2d 217, 220 (La. App. 2d Cir. 1975).

What agencies are subject to these laws?

“Public body” means “any branch, department, office, agency, board, commission, district, governing authority, political subdivision, or any committee, subcommittee, advisory board, or task force thereof, or any other instrumentality of state, parish, or municipal government, including a public or quasi-public nonprofit corporation designated as an entity to perform a governmental or proprietary function, or an affiliate of a housing authority”.

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

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.

In which form do I need to archive my records?

Web sites must be retained in their original format: HTML, CSS, PDF etc

How can we transfer website archives made with PageFreezer to the Louisiana 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 Louisiana 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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