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December 08, 2023 Clouds | 33°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 19: Electronic record keeping systems and databases; capability requirements; storage contracts; certain records to be available on searchable website

Section 19. (a) When designing or acquiring an electronic record keeping system or database, records access officers shall, consistent with section 17 of chapter 110G, consult with their chief executive officer, chief administrative officer or the Massachusetts office of information technology pursuant to chapter 7D to ensure, to the extent feasible, that the system or database is capable of providing data in a commonly available electronic, machine readable format. Such database designs or acquisitions shall allow for, to the extent feasible, information storage and retrieval methods that permit the segregation and retrieval of public records and redacting of exempt information in order to provide maximum public access. No agency or municipality shall enter into a contract for the storage of electronic records containing public records if the contract prevents or unduly restricts the records access officer from providing the public records in accordance with this chapter.

(b) Every agency shall provide on a searchable website electronic copies, accessible in a commonly available electronic format, of the following types of records, provided that any agency may withhold any record or portion thereof in accordance with state or federal law:

(i) final opinions, decisions, orders, or votes from agency proceedings;

(ii) annual reports;

(iii) notices of regulations proposed under chapter 30A;

(iv) notices of hearings;

(v) winning bids for public contracts;

(vi) awards of federal, state and municipal government grants;

(vii) minutes of open meetings;

(viii) agency budgets; and

(ix) any public record information of significant interest that the agency deems appropriate to post.