Intellectual Property Subject to Public Access Under GRAMA

The Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) protects the public’s right to access specified state records to promote government transparency and accountability. As a public employee, you should know which communications and documents are available by filing a GRAMA request. The law is complex, but understanding your rights is more important than ever now that many individuals are working from home.

As public employees, your position and your agency’s work are funded by taxpayer money – GRAMA promotes government transparency and therefore, governs records related to your job. State records pertaining to the following topics may be available by filing a GRAMA request.

Government property

  • If your employer owns your laptop or phone, you should expect anything on that device to be subject to GRAMA, whether content on the device relates to your job or is personal.
  • Anything in your work email may be provided in response to a GRAMA request.
  • Any texts sent from an agency-owned device may be provided in response to a GRAMA request.
  • Personal property
    • If you are using your own laptop or phone, content is subject to GRAMA only if it is related to work and you are being compensated.

With more people working remotely and receiving stipends to use their personal devices, provisions of GRAMA are being scrutinized and tested. Generally, if anything is related to your job or done on work time, it may be subject to GRAMA.

If you have questions about GRAMA in your workplace or more personalized questions, please reach out to your employee representative.