Free Ammo Page > Things Your
GRAMA Never Taught You
Your GRAMA Never Taught You
Did your statutory servant claim that some organization
you've never heard of supports his bill? Did your city
council reference a discussion with a lobbyist you
were not privy to? Does your county attorney seem to be
playing favorites with a particular group or agenda?
If your gut tells you that there is more to the issue than
meets the eye, there probably is. So what do you do
Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) is a useful
tool in exposing the discussions and actions of your elected
and unelected servants, lobbyists, and special interest
groups. This page exists to help you feel confident in
making your own GRAMA request.
What If Your GRAMA is Ignored or Denied?
GRAMA Advanced Basics
Under Utah statute, you are
entitled to ask any elected or unelected servant for any
communication about his/her job. This includes email,
text message, Twitter, Facebook, U.S. mail, teleconference,
in-person meeting, and any other form of communication.
Let's jump right into it.
For a sample GRAMA request form (in .pdf format),
And you don't even have to use that form, but it can be
You can also choose to utilize the state "Open
Records Portal" page, which claims to help you find the
right person, fill out a standard form, and track your
Doesn't seem that difficult, does it?
Here are some points to remember as you compose your own GRAMA
1) The more specific your are, the faster an agency or
office can respond. If you want a copy of any
discussion about gun control they have ever conducted, your
request might take a while, or be rejected for being too
broad. But you could ask for any communications
regarding a specific bill or initiative between certain
2) You must include your name, full address, and a daytime
phone number where you can be reached. This is a
3) If you want hard copies, there may be a cost. We
therefore recommend that you make your request via email and
direct them to reply with the information via email.
Again, the more specific you are, the more difficult it will
be for them to attempt to charge you money to fulfill your
4) GRAMA responses can be lengthy. The government
agency will typically attempt to send you a response via
email first, so make sure you are able to take very large
attachments, and remember to check your bulk or spam folder
in case your response is dumped there.
5) You can attempt to expedite their response. The normal response time to a GRAMA request is 10
business days. However, under
state statute 63G-2-2-204(3)(b), you can request
an expedited response in 5 business days by showing that an
"the record request benefits the
public." As you will hopefully be sharing the information, a timely response would benefit the
public in their understanding of the issue.
That's really all you need to get you started. If you
have any questions or need advice or assistance, contact the
Utah records ombudsman. If he/she fails to assist
you in a timely or sufficient manner, feel free to contact
If Your GRAMA is Ignored or Denied?
a titch cranky when she's
If your GRAMA request is ignored beyond 10 business days, or
if your request is denied, then do give the
Utah records ombudsman a call. Ask lots of
questions and see if there isn't a way to make a more
successful request. It is also possible that he/she
may mediate your request, or even intervene on your behalf.
If that fails to produce satisfactory results, you can file
notice of appeal to the chief administrative officer.
This is the first level of appeal.
And if that appeal fails, you may file a
notice of appeal to the state records committee.
This is the second level of appeal.
Note that you can also file an appeal with a state court.
GRAMA Advanced Basics
The following resources may aid you in formulating
successful requests and in navigating the appeals process.
To read the entire state statute governing GRAMA,
To see the official GRAMA main page,
For other GRAMA forms,
To visit the state records committee page,
To read information on navigating the GRAMA appeals process,
To see the Salt Lake Tribune's "GRAMA Watch",
Success Story 1: Revealing Secretive Votes:
After governor Herbert vetoed
HB 76 S1 in 2013, it was unclear whether citizens would
be able to obtain the
results conducted by the senate monarch and house
house and senate joint rules 2-2-201(2)(b),
"The sponsor of a bill being considered for the veto
override shall be provided, UPON REQUEST,
the itemized list of how each legislator responded to the
poll." [bold caps added]
The sponsor of the bill in question chose not to respond to
numerous citizen invitations for him to request the vote and
provide the results to the public.
In response, activist Kenneth Warfield filed a GRAMA request
with the senate monarch and house monarchess, requesting
that they provide the results of the poll. The senate
monarch and his office responded with the
following document, whereas the house monarchess failed
to respond or acknowledge Warfield's request.
Warfield then spoke with the
Utah records ombudsman
(mentioned above), interacted with house employees, and was
subsequently able to obtain the
following document. Obtaining these two documents
notified legislators that veto override actions were being
observed and reviewed.