Monday, January 29, 2007

Legal Or Not:



About a week ago a regular Radikal reader sent in an email he'd received from a third party which contained the following footer:

"Documents made or received by anyone acting for or on behalf of the UF = Foundation are confidential and exempt from F.S. 119.07(1) pursuant to = F.S. 1004.28(5) and in accordance with the UF Foundation policy on = confidentiality of Foundation documents."

The reader wanted to know if this footer (found on a University of Florida Alumni Association) email to its members did in fact merit material excluded from Florida's Public Records Laws (aka Sunshine Laws). Upon receiving this query I fired off an email to Chris Carmody, Nick Capezza, & Charlie Grapski to get as much info on the matter as possible. Charlie Grapski, well known for his activism and many attempts at getting UF to better-observe these laws, repliedpromptly.


Grapski replied as follows:

No, there is no such exemption from the Sunshine law - as much as the Foundation (and UF seeks to use the Foundation as a means to shelter itself from the Sunshine) wants to make it that way.

They have long exploited a specific exemption for donors - to mean that their entire operation is exempt.

This is a blatant - and conscious - violation of the law.


On Thursday (1/25/07) I emailed the Foundation contact on the email, attaching Grapski's reply, and inviting the officer to either personally reply on the blog or forward the email to an appropriate officer. The Radikal invites readers to submit questions and/or concerns of any nature and I'll do my best to get you the answers. As far as this case goes, I remain interested in hearing of a rebuttal to Charlie Grapski's opinion on the matter.

The Radikal will work hand-in-hand with Charlie's Open Records Project. Additionally, many SG leaders are also throwing this footer with their emails:

"The information transmitted (including attachments) is covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. 2510-2521, is intended only for the person(s) or entity/entities to which it is addressed and may contain confidential and/or privileged material. Any review, retransmission, dissemination or other use of, or taking of any action in reliance upon, this information by persons or entities other than the intended recipient(s) is prohibited. If you received this in error, please contact the sender and delete the material from any computer."

We'll be looking into the legalities of this footer as well. Till next time, stay Radikal!

p.s.
Just released a PANTS Party press release... about four months ago I remember, oh nevermind, and so...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

This message was on the bottom of a Women's Leadership Conference email sent out on the SG listservs:
CONFIDENTIAL

Information contained in this message is part of an educational record and is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. This information is being shared with the addressee(s) because of a legitimate educational interest. Any re-disclosure of this information must be done in accordance with FERPA or with the student’s consent. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution or other use of the contents of this message is prohibited. If you have received this message in error, please notify me by telephone or electronic mail.

Is this any different from the other exemptions?

Charles Grapski said...

There is no legal basis for that disclosure - and it has no bearing on the FACT that the email in question is NOT an academic record (protected under that federal act) and IS, therefore, a PUBLIC RECORD - subject to Florida's public records law.