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(1) Are email messages and other electronic communications public records? (2) If so, how long must they be kept?

Question: 

(1) Are email messages and other electronic communications public records? (2) If so, how long must they be kept?

Answer: 

(1) The definition of public records under 22.1(3) is broad enough to encompass email messages and other electronic correspondence. (2) State Records Commission policies govern the maintenance and retention of state agency records. In addition, various sections of the Iowa Code address other public records. For example, Chapter 372.13(5) contains requirements for retention of some city records, such as council minutes, ordinances and resolutions. Local government bodies are encouraged to adopt their own records retention policies and to follow them consistently. Deleting a typical email message under such a policy should pose no legal problems. However, if the message remains retrievable or recoverable then the government body would be obliged to provide it upon request, though the requester can be charged a reasonable fee for retrieval.

Printed from the website on July 13, 2020 at 12:39pm.