Public Bodies – Use and Retention of E-mail – Requirements – HB 492
In the spirit of these bills centered on bolstering a trusting relationship between the state government and its citizens, this piece of legislation, sponsored by Del. Sid Saab, R-Anne Arundel, would create an email retention requirement policy.
If this bill passes, it would not only prohibit an employee of a public body to conduct official business via personal email, but would also order these public bodies to retain an email for at least 7 years, or permanently retain an email if it was sent or received by a senior employee.
During his testimony in support of this bill, Dr. Jim Snider, the president of the non-profit policy institute, iSolon.org, frequently referred to Hillary Clinton’s email scandal for both context and comparison.
“Clinton’s email scandal is still front page news,” said Dr. Snider. “This bill should call attention to the fact that not only the federal government’s email policies but Clinton’s email practices are a paragon of transparency and democratic accountability compared to both the policies and practices that have been sanctioned under Maryland’s Public Information Act.”
While prohibiting an employee to use a personal email for official matters, if a third party sends a government-related email to one’s personal account, that email must be forwarded to the appropriate address within 5 days.
Source: Grunberger, Alessia, Bills seek to boost government transparency, accountability, Maryland Reporter, February 25, 2016