FYI - November 2017

FYi Newsletter – From the Data Practices Office at the Department of Administration

NOVEMBER 2017     

Advisory Opinion Update

Domestic Abuse Data Maintained by Nonprofit

In Opinion 17-008, a City asked about the classification of data that identify the location of a victim of domestic abuse, when the data are maintained by a nonprofit domestic violence advocacy agency. The Commissioner concluded that while Minnesota Statutes, section 13.823 specifically exempts private nonprofit domestic violence advocacy agencies who are not under the direct control of a government entity from Ch. 13, other sections require those agencies to maintain data about victims as private data as defined in Ch. 13. Additionally, federal statutes also restrict access to information about victims of domestic abuse. Therefore, while the advocacy agencies are not subject to Ch. 13, they must maintain data that identify the location of a victim of domestic abuse as private data and that information cannot be disclosed without consent, statutory authorization, or a court order.

Complaint Data Post-Arbitration

In Opinion 17-009, a County asked about the classification of the “outcome of a complaint” and the transcript of arbitration proceedings. The Commissioner opined that because the arbitrator reversed discipline for the conduct related to the complaint, but upheld discipline for other conduct, the county responded appropriately to the complainant requester by providing only the existence and status of the complaint. Additionally, the Commissioner opined that the portions of the transcript that documented the final disposition of disciplinary action, the specific reasons for the action, and the basis of the action were public; data about the reversed discipline and personnel data on other employees were private.

Upcoming DPO Workshops

There are currently no DPO workshops open for registration, but plans are underway for a full slate of workshops in early-mid 2018. Stay tuned for details as they become available!