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New Mexico Public Record Laws

Website & Social Media Archiving for New Mexico State Agencies

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.

IPRA Compliance Guide A citizen has a fundamental right to have access to public records. The citizen’s right to know is the rule and secrecy is the exception. Where there is no contrary statute… the right to inspect public records must be freely allowed. Newsome v. Alarid, 90 NM. at 797, (1977)
What Laws govern Records Management in the State of 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 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.”

Anyone can request public records and no statement of purpose is required. The law does place a restriction on the use of police reports. They cannot be used to solicit victims for services. The New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act allows for three days for a response to a records request.

New Mexico Open Records Laws and provisions of access to public records, website and social media records can be found within the Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) and the Open Meetings Act (OMA). IPRA is a New Mexico state law that provides the public and media access to public information, whilst OMA is a state law providing the statutory guidelines for conducting public meetings.

The Open Meetings Act (OMA) is a 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.

The Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) is a New Mexico state law that provides the public and media access to public information. The law requires open access to almost all public records in state and local government, with few exceptions. Under IPRA, the public has the right to take legal action if they are denied access to public records, an important mechanism to empower the public.

Do New Mexico 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.

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.)

What agencies are subject to these laws?

The document includes all divisions of government and any body that was created by statute and receives any public funding.

Subject to legislation, “public body” means the “executive, legislative and judicial branches of state and local governments … all agencies or entities created by the constitution or any branch of government that receives any public funding, including political subdivisions and institutions of higher education”.

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.

All government bodies that fall under New Mexico’s Open Records Laws are required by law to both designate an individual as the official custodian of the records and to post the information regarding copying public records in a “conspicuous location”.

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 New Mexico 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 New Mexico 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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