IPAD's Bi-Monthly Data Practices Update

FYi newsletter header, from the Information Policy Analysis Division of the Department of Administration

July 2016

Advisory Opinion Update

Employee Evaluation Summary of Conclusions

In Advisory Opinion 16-002, a member of the public asked whether a city council complied with the Open Meeting Law requirement to provide a summary of conclusions following a closed meeting for a performance evaluation (Minn. Stat. § 13D.05, subd. 3(a)). Because the council only discussed two salient points the closed session, and the summary given at the next open meeting included the conclusions of those two points, the Commissioner opined that the council had met the statutory requirements.

Closing a Meeting under Attorney-Client Privilege

In Advisory Opinion 16-003, a newspaper reporter asked whether a city council properly closed a meeting pursuant to the attorney-client privilege exception to the Open Meeting Law (Minn. Stat. § 13D.05, subd. 3(b)). The Commissioner opined that the council had met the standard for closing the meeting because the council had been threatened with litigation and it needed absolute confidentiality to discuss the provisions of a proposed separation agreement.

Employee Access to Private Student Data

In Advisory Opinion 16-004, a school district asked whether it would be in compliance with state and federal laws governing data on students if it included certain data in job postings for work with teachers to provide services to students with disabilities. At the time employees bid, they have not yet been assigned to work with any particular student(s). The Commissioner opined that under Minn. Stat. § 13.32, the data elements in the posting, taken together, inadvertently identify students and their disabilities, which are private. Because bidding employees do not yet have a legally recognized reason to access the private data on students, the District must remove the identifying data elements from the posting.

Save the Date!

The Ins and Outs of Getting Government Records, Tuesday, August 23, 2016

IPAD will hold a public event at the Rondo Library in St. Paul on Tuesday, August 23, 2016, from 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm to discuss requesting government information. In addition to fielding questions from attendees, you will also hear from a panel of seasoned data requestors about their experiences working with government entities to get information. Panelists include:

Data Practice Act Info Page
MN Admin / Information Policy Analysis Division