Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, section 13.072, subdivision 1, the Commissioner of Administration has authority to issue advisory opinions to government entities or members of the public seeking resolution of disputes relating to Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 13 (the Data Practices Act) and/or other statutes regulating government data practices.
Also pursuant to section 13.072, subdivision 1, the Commissioner of Administration has authority to issue advisory opinions to public bodies or members of the public on questions relating to a public body’s duties under Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 13D, the Open Meeting Law. The fee for requesting an Open Meeting Law opinion is $200.
Under section 13.072, a government entity or members of a public body acting in conformity with an advisory opinion are not liable for compensatory or exemplary damages or awards of attorney's fees under section 13.08 or 13.085, or for a penalty under section 13.09 or for fines, awards of attorney's fees, or any other penalty under chapter 13D.
The Commissioner does not reconsider opinions based on arguments or materials provided after the opinion is issued. Opinions are based upon the written record at the time they are issued.
Data Practices Advisory Opinions
A government entity can request an opinion on any question concerning public access to government data, rights of subjects of data, or classification of data.
An individual can request an opinion regarding that individual’s rights as a subject of government data. Members of the public can request an opinion on the right to access government data.
Data practices advisory opinions are not binding on the government whose data are the subject of the opinion; however, the opinion must be given deference by a court or other tribunal in a proceeding involving the data.
Open Meeting Law Advisory Opinions
A public body can request an opinion on any question related to the body’s duties under Chapter 13D.
A member of the public who disagrees with the manner in which members of a governing body perform their duties under Chapter 13D can request an opinion.
Open Meeting Law advisory opinions are not binding on the public body that is the subject of the opinion; however, the opinion must be given deference by a court or other tribunal in a proceeding involving the data.