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Nevada Public Record Laws

Website & Social Media Archiving for Nevada State Agencies

Nevada State Flag

Public records in Nevada are subject to the Nevada Public Records Act. Open Records Law N.R.S. 239 et seq (balancing privacy issues with public interest) and Open Meetings Law N.R.S. 241 et seq govern open records law in the state of Nevada covering state, county and municipal records. The aim of this regulation is to balance democratic principles by providing access to records to members of the public to the extent permitted by law.

How Nevada Defines a Public Record

The Nevada Public Records Act reads as follows:

NRS 239.001  Legislative findings and declaration.  The Legislature hereby finds and declares that:

1.The purpose of this chapter is to foster democratic principles by providing members of the public with access to inspect and copy public books and records to the extent permitted by law;

2.The provisions of this chapter must be construed liberally to carry out this important purpose;

3.Any exemption, exception or balancing of interests which limits or restricts access to public books and records by members of the public must be construed narrowly; and

4.The use of private entities in the provision of public services must not deprive members of the public access to inspect and copy books and records relating to the provision of those services.

NRS 239.010 

1.Except as otherwise declared by law to be confidential, all public books and public records of a governmental entity must be open at all times during office hours to inspection by any person

Recordkeeping Guidance

The Nevada State Library, Archives & Public Records has offered guidance on the Public Records Act. It outlines how records should be managed, and under the Public Records Act, online data such as website content and social media data would need to be handled in the same way. The Nevada Public Records Act” A Manual for State Agencies reads:

NRS 239.080 State records: Schedules for retention and disposition. 1. An official state record may be disposed of only in accordance with a schedule for retention and disposition which is approved by the Committee. 2. In cooperation with the Division4 3. The Division shall submit the schedules described in subsection 2 to the Committee for final approval. , each agency, board and commission shall develop a schedule for the retention and disposition of each type of official state record. 4. As used in this section, “official state record” includes, without limitation, any: (a) Papers, unpublished books, maps and photographs; (b) Information stored on magnetic tape or computer, laser or optical disc; (c) Materials which are capable of being read by a machine, including microforms and audio and visual materials; and (d) Materials which are made or received by a state agency and preserved by that agency or its successor as evidence of the organization, operation, policy or any other activity of that agency or because of the information contained in the material.

NAC 239.705 “Official record” “public record” or “record” means information created or received by an agency of the Executive Department or the Nevada System of Higher Education under authority of law, regulation or other legal mandate or in connection with the transaction of public business that is maintained by the agency or the Nevada System of Higher Education, or its legitimate successor, as evidence of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations or other activities of the agency or the Nevada System of Higher Education, including, without limitation, all papers, maps, photographs, financial statements, statistical tabulations, recorded media and other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics.

Managing Public Records

Agencies are responsible for making certain all of their records, regardless of format, are properly retained and remain accessible during their entire retention period. All records must be stored in a secure and stable environment that will protect them from alteration, damage and degradation.