In a significant opinion enforcing transparency and accountability, the office of the New Mexico Attorney General has resolved the issue of what constitutes the “public’s business,” as it pertains to the Inspection of Public Records Act.
The opinion states that when the Office of the Medical Investigator acts as a contractor for tribal and federal agencies, the records of those services are the public’s business and subject to the public records act. Under state law, contracts and agreements involving state agencies must comply with the public records act.
The Rio Grande Sun filed a complaint with the AG in April 2019 because the Office of the Medical Investigator failed to provide the newspaper autopsy reports for a two-year period and failed to provide notice for a timely response to its public records request. In response to the complaint, the AG also states the state agency violated state law as it did, “not comply with IPRA as it failed to account for responsive records and respond in a timely manner.” Read more at New Mexico Foundation for Open Government.