IPAD's Bi-Monthly Data Practices Update

FYi - From the Information Policy Analysis Division


Advisory Opinion Update

Private personnel data

In Advisory Opinion 15-005, a school district asked whether Minnesota Statutes, section 122A.41, subd. 6(c), requires sharing certain private personnel data with another district. That subdivision states that under certain circumstances, a school district must disseminate private personnel data, “[u]nless restricted by … state data practices law….” The Commissioner opined that despite the apparent objective of that provision, the district may not share private personnel data with a requesting district because the Data Practices Act is a “state data practices law” that restricts disclosure of private data.

Public official investigations

In Advisory Opinion 15-006, a city asked about the classification of data in a draft investigation report about a former city public official. The Commissioner opined that all data related to the complaint or charge in the report are public because the public official resigned before the city finished the report and because the former public official released the city from all claims stemming from the complaint, under Minnesota Statutes, section 13.43, subd. 2(e) and (f). The Commissioner further opined that the city could not enter into an agreement with the data subject to restrict access to public data, per section 13.43, subd. 10.

Civil investigative data

In Advisory Opinion 15-007, a county asked whether it could classify certain appraisal data as confidential or protected nonpublic under Minnesota Statutes, section 13.39. A county prepared a second appraisal for a condemnation/eminent domain action. The Commissioner opined that because the proceeding was the type of civil legal action contemplated by section 13.39, and the chief attorney had determined that the action was pending, the County could temporarily classify the appraisal as not public while the civil legal action was pending.

Case Law Update

scales of justice

Harlow v. State of Minnesota Department of Human Services, et al., A14-1342, A14-1343 (Minn. Ct. App., April 27, 2015).

  • Oral arguments before the Minnesota Supreme Court took place on December 8, 2015.

In re KSTP-TV v. Metro Transit and Metropolitan Council, A14-1957 (Minn. Ct. App. Aug. 24, 2015).

  • On November 25, 2015, the Minnesota Supreme Court granted the Metropolitan Council’s petition for review.

New Legal Requirement Update: Automated License Plate Reader Policies

Minnesota Statutes, section 626.8472, requires the chief law enforcement officer of any agency that uses automated license plate readers to establish and enforce a written policy that governs the use of the readers, including employee discipline standards for unauthorized access to the data, by January 15, 2016. 

Upcoming IPAD Workshops

Open Meeting Law Workshop - January 27, 2016

IPAD will hold its Open Meeting Law (OML) workshop on Wednesday, January 27. This workshop  provides an overview of OML requirements, gives practical advice on implementing the OML, and allows attendees a chance to discuss and ask members of IPAD staff questions. Visit IPAD's website for more information and to register.

Future Workshops

Throughout the spring and summer of 2016, IPAD will offer workshops on a variety of popular topics, including an Introduction to the Minnesota Data Practices Act's Policies & Procedures, Law Enforcement Data, and Personnel Data. If you are new to a position that deals with data practices issues, or simply need a refresher course, IPAD recommends that you attend the Intro workshop before progressing to one that is more specialized. 

Please keep an eye on IPAD’s homepage for updates!

MN Admin / Information Policy Analysis Division