The provisions in 1 V.S.A. § 318 lay out the process for public agencies to follow when responding to requests to access public records. They impose time limits on an agency for responding to record requests; outline what an agency must do when it denies a request; and establish an appeals process for individuals who are denied access. Most of these provisions were adopted under the first public records law, Act 231 of 1976.
Subsequent amendments to the process have aimed at improving records access and making public agencies more accountable when they deny requests. For example, Act 132 of 2006 required that an agency explain the basis for a denial in writing. In relation to the appeals process, Act 110 of 2008 similarly required agency heads to put their decisions in writing and required them to cite the statutory basis for a denial. Act 59 of 2011 required agencies to more closely cooperate with individuals requesting information in order to fulfill their requests and it also required agencies to redact exempt information from a record rather than deny access to the entire record.
Pursuant to 1 V.S.A. § 318a, which was added into law by Act 166 of 2018 and went into effect on July 1, 2018, the Secretary of Administration is required to maintain and update the Public Records Request System established pursuant to Act 132 of 2006 and Act 59 of 2011 with the information furnished under 1 V.S.A. § 318a(b) and post system information on the website of the Agency of Administration.
1 V.S.A. § 318a(b) requires all public agencies of the Executive Branch of the State that receive a written request to inspect or copy a record to log the request in the Public Records Request System with the following information:
Vermont State Archives & Records Administration
Tanya Marshall, State Archivist & Director
1078 Route 2, Middlesex
Montpelier, VT 05633-7701
Phone & Hours
Main Line: 802-828-3700
Office Hours: 7:45 AM to 4:30 PM, M-F
Reference Room: 9 AM to 4 PM, M-F