Susana changes e-mail policy

By Rob Nikolewski on June 18, 2012
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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):

Gov. Susana Martinez

“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.”

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3 Comments For This Post So Far

  1. Georga CoLlins
    6:00 pm on June 18th, 2012

    Susana handled that very well. I approve of her 100%.
    How is it that you posted probably the worst picture you could possibly get of a really beautiful woman who has never taken a bad photo? Except for this one.
    I think it speaks to who you are as a news organization.

  2. Sherry
    8:48 pm on June 18th, 2012

    Get a grip Mr. George Collins she got caught with her hands in the cookie jar red handed. ” Of course she had to do something RIGHT AWAY, to cover up her political corruption.” also to cover up her CORRUPT affilation with the NM Corrections Dept.” Way to go Suzanna.. ” Tell Charlene Knipfing I said HELLO>

  3. Kram
    11:24 am on June 19th, 2012

    I am happy the Governor has issued a directive to all state employees to use official state email for all communications for state business (It really should read Tax Payer business) regardless as to what stage the Tax Payer business is in. The Governor goes on to state that while there is no state law that requires Tax Payer business to be conducted through the official state email system don’t you think it is just common sense that the official state email system be utilized for all communications involving Tax Payer business? DUH. Why would we need another state law when COMMON SENSE should be the guiding light. Perhaps Common Sense is archaic and no longer relevant in these times.

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