NRS 239 is clear: Government e-mails are public information

Victor Joecks

A follow-up to the public records subplot in NPRI’s efforts to let CCSD teachers know they can opt out of CCEA, but only if teachers submit written notice to the union by July 15.

Last week, I detailed how CCSD rejected NPRI’s public records request for the government e-mails of government employees.

A couple of people commented that there is a caveat in the law that makes those e-mail addresses confidential.

Wow! What a selectively incorrect context you provided for that quote! Here’s the real context:

“Finally, the release of personal information contained in government records was also covered in A.B. 188 (Chapter 307, Statutes of Nevada) of the 2005 Legislative Session. The bill required a government entity to maintain a secure database of electronic mail addresses and telephone numbers of persons who provide such information to the entity. Under this measure, the database is not considered a public record. …” (Emphasis added.)

Now the commentators are citing this LCB summary of the law, not the law itself, but even from the quote, you can tell it’s not referring to government e-mail addresses – it’s referring to e-mail address provided by citizens to the government agency.

Here’s what the law, NRS 239B.040, says (and I’m providing the links so you can go through and double-check everything for yourself).

(a) If a person or his or her agent provides the electronic mail address or telephone number of the person to a governmental entity for the purpose of or in the course of communicating with that governmental entity, the governmental entity may maintain the electronic mail address or telephone number in a database.

(b) A database described in this subsection:

(1) Is confidential; (Emphasis added.)

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let me remind teachers that this is the last week of the year they can opt out of CCEA. Here’s info on why many teachers are leaving and generic opt-out letter if you or someone you know would like to leave.