This week in public records: Massachusetts – Pennsylvania – New Mexico

The Massachusetts Supreme Court is proposing new procedures that, if adopted, would curtail the available personal information in all court files. The court is accepting public comments on its Interim Guidelines for the Protection of Personal Identifying Data in Publicly Accessible Court Documents.

The document proposes redaction of particular personally identifying information in court filings.

Except as provided in these guidelines, a document filed with a court should not include a complete version of any of the following personal identifying data elements. Instead, the filer should redact information from any pre-existing document, or omit information from any document prepared for filing, so that the document includes:
(1) in the case of a social security number, taxpayer identification number, credit card or other financial account number, driver’s license number, or passport number, only the last four digits;
(2) in the case of a birth date, only the year of birth, rather than the exact day or month; and
(3) in the case of a name identified as the mother’s maiden name of a person, only the first initial of that name.

The Pennsylvania Treasury Department has launched a database of state government agency goods and services contracts. Search by any combination of contractor, contracting agency, contract amount or date range. This primarily includes contracts entered into or renewed on or after July 1, 2008. See the FAQ’s for database parameters.

The University of New Mexico is revising its policies on access to public records and disclosure of personal information. One of the additions to the list of public record information on University employees is job application, resume or curriculum vitae. The policy changes will be voted on at the August 2008 UNM Board of Regents meeting.


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