Knight FOI Fund case settled with greater access to emails ensured


COLUMBIA, Mo. (July 25, 2012) – In an important case supported by the Knight FOI Fund, a grassroots public-interest organization has won a settlement agreement with the northern California city of Auburn over retention and disclosure policies regarding government emails.
The settlement agreement with the First Amendment Coalition (FAC) of California, approved by the Auburn city council this week, requires that government officials save emails for at least two years, replacing a policy and practice of deleting most emails after 30 days. The agreement also assures public access to emails about government business even when they are sent or received on personal computers or through personal email accounts.
Peter Scheer, executive director of FAC, and Kenneth F. Bunting, executive director of NFOIC, commended the settlement agreement as a good and important outcome regarding an issue with implications that reach far beyond the northern California community that was named in the lawsuit.