Arkansas AG: Electronic files considered ‘in storage’ under FOI law

In an advisory opinion last week, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge addressed a question about the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act that the attorney general’s office had never been asked before, and her answer has drawn some criticism.

The question, posed by state Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, R-Benton, concerned what constitutes “storage” when it comes to digital files on a computer or cell phone.

The Arkansas Freedom of Information Act states that “if a public record is in active use or storage and, therefore, not available at the time the citizen asks to examine it, the custodian shall certify this fact in writing to the applicant and set a date and hour within three working days at which time the record will be available for the exercise of the right given by this chapter.” Continue…