Court says school project contract is public data - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Court says school project contract is public data

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Court of Appeals has backed the Timberjay Newspapers group in an open records case involving how units of government farm out work to contractors.

In a ruling Tuesday, the court says a contract involving a major construction and renovation project in the St. Louis County School District is public information. The contract is between the construction management firm Johnson Controls Inc. and subcontractor Architectural Resources Inc. The ruling says JCI performed a governmental function as defined by the state's Data Practices Act, so the Ely-based Timberjay Newspapers are entitled to see its contract with ARI.

Mark Anfinson, an attorney for the newspapers, says it's an important decision because the appeals court rejected arguments that would have restricted public access to information about work that governments outsource to contractors.

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