Secretary of state releases new public records regulations

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The secretary of state’s office this afternoon released the final set of rules to implement the new public records law, which was signed by the governor in June and is scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1.
Link to secretary of state’s office for regulations
The new law (Chapter 121 of the Acts of 2016) imposes strict new requirements on cities, towns and state agencies governing timelines to respond to and comply with requests for records, including how much can be charged to cover costs and what penalties could be imposed on state and local government agencies.
The law required the supervisor of records in the secretary of state’s office to finalize regulations by Jan. 1.
The new rules will necessitate that cities and towns review and update local practices for responding to records requests, and that they be ready to implement them on the first of the year.
The MMA is in the process of reviewing the regulations in detail.
The MMA and the Massachusetts Municipal Lawyers Association are sponsoring a workshop at the MMA Annual Meeting & Trade Show on Jan. 21 on the requirements of the law and regulations, as well as best practices that cities and towns can implement to facilitate compliance with the new rules.