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Vermont Public Record Laws

Website & Social Media Archiving for Vermont State Agencies

Do you represent a Vermont 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 Vermont?

Vermont’s Public Records Laws (1 V.S.A. §§315 et seq.) and Open Meetings Laws (1 V.S.A. §§310 et seq.) govern access to social media and Open Records in the state of Vermont.

Do Vermont State 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.

Public records are defined by law as “any written or recorded information, regardless of physical form or characteristics, which is produced or acquired in the course of public agency business.” 1 V.S.A. § 317(b).

What agencies are subject to these laws?

Within Vermont State legislation, “public body” means any board, council, or commission of the State or one or more of its political subdivisions, any board, council, or commission of any agency, authority, or instrumentality of the State or one or more of its political subdivisions, or any committee of any of the foregoing boards, councils, or commissions, except that “public body” does not include councils or similar groups established by the Governor for the sole purpose of advising the Governor with respect to policy.

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

Any applicable agency is obligated to provide access to public records for inspection and copying unless the records are exempt by law from public access.

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.

If an agency maintains public records in an electronic format, the requester may choose to receive the copies in either electronic format or paper format. 1 V.S.A. § 316(i).

How can we transfer website archives made with PageFreezer to the Vermont State 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 Vermont 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 implement effective Online Public Records management start a free trial, schedule a demo or contact us directly.


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