THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT
Sec. 1-211. (Formerly Sec. 1-19a). Disclosure of computer-stored public records. Contracts. Acquisition of system, equipment, software to store or retrieve nonexempt public records. (a) Any public agency which maintains public records in a computer storage system shall provide, to any person making a request pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, a copy of any nonexempt data contained in such records, properly identified, on paper, disk, tape or any other electronic storage device or medium requested by the person, if the agency can reasonably make such copy or have such copy made. Except as otherwise provided by state statute, the cost for providing a copy of such data shall be in accordance with the provisions of section 1-212.
(b) Except as otherwise provided by state statute, no public agency shall enter into a contract with, or otherwise obligate itself to, any person if such contract or obligation impairs the right of the public under the Freedom of Information Act to inspect or copy the agency's nonexempt public records existing on-line in, or stored on a device or medium used in connection with, a computer system owned, leased or otherwise used by the agency in the course of its governmental functions.
(c) On and after July 1, 1992, before any public agency acquires any computer system, equipment or software to store or retrieve nonexempt public records, it shall consider whether such proposed system, equipment or software adequately provides for the rights of the public under the Freedom of Information Act at the least cost possible to the agency and to persons entitled to access to nonexempt public records under the Freedom of Information Act. In meeting its obligations under this subsection, each state public agency shall consult with the Department of Information Technology as part of the agency's design analysis prior to acquiring any such computer system, equipment or software. The Department of Information Technology shall adopt written guidelines to assist municipal agencies in carrying out the purposes of this subsection. Nothing in this subsection shall require an agency to consult with said department prior to acquiring a system, equipment or software or modifying software, if such acquisition or modification is consistent with a design analysis for which such agency has previously consulted with said department. The Department of Information Technology shall consult with the Freedom of Information Commission on matters relating to access to and disclosure of public records for the purposes of this subsection. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to software modifications which would not affect the rights of the public under the Freedom of Information Act. (P.A. 75-342, §4; P.A. 90-307, §3; P.A. 91-347, §1; P.A. 97-47, §5; June 18 Sp. Sess., P.A. 97-9, §26).