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Your Right to Government Records

recordsrequest.bmpUtah laws protect the public’s right to know what the government is doing and why by providing access to government records and meetings. Exercising these rights empowers citizens to play an active role in their government.

Utah’s public records law, the Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA), makes government records public unless otherwise expressly provided by statute. A similar law, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), applies to federal records.

To obtain a government record in Utah, ask the holder of the record for access, which is free, or for a copy. The record holder can require the requester to put the request in writing and can charge for copies. The Utah Attorney General's website provides a sample form for making a record request. A government entity is not required to create a record in order to satisfy a request for information.

Utah’s right to government records is not absolute. Records that are classified as private, controlled, protected or limited do not have to be disclosed.

Should the record holder deny a request, the requester has 30 days to appeal to the office’s chief administrative officer.

If the chief administrative officer does not disclose the record, the requester can appeal

  • directly to the district court or
  • first to the State Records Committee and second, if the State Records Committee refuses access, to the district court.
GRAMA is a very detailed law and should be read carefully. The Utah Attorney General has published two guides on the topic of open records and open meetings that may help you understand the law:

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