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New Mexico Public Record Laws

Website & Social Media Archiving for New Mexico State Agencies

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Do you represent a New Mexico 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.

Open Records in New Mexico

New Mexico has typically been acknowledged for their open government provisions, especially in line with open records laws. The New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act is a series of laws designed to guarantee that the public has access to public records of governmental bodies.

The Open Meetings Act (OMA) is another relevant state law, which provides the statutory guidelines for conducting public meetings. The Attorney General has the statutory authority to enforce OMA and to ensure that those public meetings covered by OMA are in compliance with state law. In order to assist the public and those that are covered by OMA we have a full printable copy of our OMA Compliance Guide online.

How New Mexico Defines a Public Record

The New Mexico Statute 14-2-6 states that records include “all documents, papers, letters, books, maps, tapes, photographs, recordings and other materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, that are used, created, received, maintained or held by or on behalf of any public body and relate to public business, whether or not the records are required by law to be created or maintained.”

Within the IPRA, “records” include any document, device, or item,regardless of physical form or characteristic created or received by or coming under the jurisdiction of any public office of the state or its political subdivisions maintained or held by or on behalf of any public body and relate to public business. §14-2-6(E), NMSA 1978.

Social media and website postings should be treated as public records pursuant to the act’s broad definition of public records (stating physical form to be irrelevant to openness) (§14-2-6(F), NMSA 2011). In addition, the IPRA states that information contained in information systems or computer databases shall be a public record, ensuring the inclusion of social media and web postings. (§§14-3-15.1, 14-3- 18(C), NMSA 1978.)