Gloria Re-Introduces Open Government Bill Requiring Two-Year E-Mail Record Retention for Public Agencies

Friday, February 7, 2020

Undeterred by Veto, Assemblymember Gloria Brings Back Bill to Increase Public’s Access to E-Mail Records

SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, California State Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego)re-introduced his government transparency legislation that would mandate all California public agencies retain e-mails for a minimum of two years. Assemblymember Gloria authored this same legislation last year; however it was vetoed by Governor Newsom.

I continue to believe the public has a right to access and examine government documents and that includes e-mails,” said Assemblymember Gloria. “The State should absolutely set a sensible, statewide e-mail record retention standard for public agencies. E-mails are of equal relevance to paper records and they are critical to conducting the public’s business.”

Assembly Bill 2093 (AB 2093) would require all public records transmitted via e-mail to be retained for at least two years. The bill was inspired by investigative reporting by Voice of San Diego, which found some cities were deleting e-mail records under the two-year requirement prescribed in the California Public Records Act (CPRA). One municipality received criticism for its e-mail retention policy that allowed city officials to delete e-mails after just 30 days. The cities argued current law is ambiguous on electronic and e-mails records.

AB 2093 would clarify that e-mails and other electronic public records are subject to the CPRA’s retention standard thereby establishing the two-year standard statewide for all public agencies.

AB 2093 will be considered by an Assembly policy committee in the coming weeks.