Until the Colorado Public (Open) Records Act was formalized in 1969, the ability of a citizen to gain access to public records was at the discretion of the custodian of the records. Public records include all writings that are made, maintained, kept or held by entities that are subject to the Colorado Public (Open) Records Act for use in the exercise of functions required or authorized by law or administrative rule or involving the receipt or expenditure of public funds. Keep in mind, this could mean that a record that is in the custody of an agency subject to the Colorado Public (Open) Records Act would not itself, be subject to the Colorado Public (Open) Records Act if it was not made, maintained or kept for a governmental function or for an official reason.
There are several clear exemptions in the Colorado Public (Open) Records Act. The first statute exempts correspondence that is work product and all correspondence with constituents that clearly implies by its nature or content that the constituent expects that it is confidential.
Any person can request records and they are not required to state a purpose nor is the custodian of the records allowed to ask said person to provide a reason. Criminal justice record cannot be used for solicitation of business for monetary gain, but that is the only restriction on obtaining public records. Colorado Law stipulates a three day deadline for a response.
We the People have a Right to Know according to the Supreme Court of the United States [SCOTUS], past Presidents (of both major political parties), Congress, and the United States Department of Justice. As an expression of that Right to Know, we have coordinated valuable information from a number of resources into a single, public-facing, searchable database.