Susana changes e-mail policy
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Responding to criticism after at least two episodes of personal e-mails being used by members of her administration — including the governor herself — regarding state business, Gov. Susana Martinez announced a sweeping directive regarding electronic communications after meeting with the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government (NMFOG).
Here’s the statement released late Monday afternoon (June 18):
“Today, I am directing all state employees under the governor’s authority to utilize official state email when conducting state business via email. This includes discussions preliminary in nature to final decisions or actions that have occasionally been sent via personal email because they are not required to be maintained under state law. There is no state law that requires this to be done, but utilizing only state email to conduct state business in connection with public employees’ duties is another important step to ensure continued confidence in government.”
“This directive goes beyond what has been required or practiced in the past in New Mexico, and it exceeds what is practiced in most other states. In addition, given that numerous other public officials, including legislators, discuss public matters on personal email addresses, I am urging the Legislature, other executive branch agencies, and local governments and municipalities to also adopt a similar policy that requires official email to be used when conducting state business and retained according to state regulations. Furthermore, we would be pleased to work with interested parties to ensure that our records statutes and regulations are coherent, strong, practical, and consistent across government.”
We’ve got a call in to Gwyneth Doland of NMFOG and will post a response as well as specifics about the meeting with the governor’s office and open government officials ASAP.
For background on the e-mail controversy, click here.
Update: Doland tells Capitol Report New Mexico that Gov. Martinez, two staff attorneys and two members of her staff (Keith Gardner and Ryan Cangiolosi) met with six members of NMFOG on Saturday afternoon for two hours at the foundation’s headquarters in Albuquerque.
“The Foundation for Open Government appreciates the Governor meeting with FOG representatives to discuss our concern about public business being conducted on private email accounts,” Doland said in a statement. “This action by the Governor today is a huge step forward for government transparency, for which the governor deserves credit. We urge other government agencies and officials to adopt similar policies to ensure the public’s business is done in the open.”