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January 10, 2013

Vermont State Archives Opens Dean Administration Records to the Public

Secretary of State Jim Condos announced today that records from the administration of Governor Howard Dean previously closed under executive privilege are now open for research by the public at the Vermont State Archives and Records Administration (VSARA). The records offer new insights into the tenure of Vermont’s second longest-serving governor.

“When you consider Howard Dean’s twelve years as governor and some of the issues facing Vermont during that time,” Condos noted, “you think about things like the death of Governor Snelling at the beginning, then health care reform, and Act 60, and civil unions, and September 11th – these are not small challenges. The records from the Dean administration in part tell the story of our state during this critical period.”

The eighty boxes of material had been closed in 2003 at the end of the Dean administration for a period of ten years pursuant to an agreement between the Governor and the Office of Secretary of State. Beginning with the Kunin administration, every Vermont governor has entered an agreement with the Secretary of State’s office to sequester executive privilege material for a specified period of time after which the records become open to the public. “These types of agreements are designed to balance and protect both the deliberative process necessary for policy-making and the public’s right to know,” Condos added.

The newly-opened Dean records join the 170 boxes of records from his administration that were opened in 2003. The executive privilege records include the governor’s schedules; periodic reports from agency secretaries and commissioners; reviews of pending legislation; and correspondence with advisors, government officials, and constituents. In total, they document nearly every aspect of state government between 1991 and 2003. An online index is can be found at http://tinyurl.com/howard-dean-records.

The records are available for on-site research Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in VSARA’s Reference Room in Middlesex. Archivists are also available to answer questions by phone at 802-828-2308 or by e-mail at archives@sec.state.vt.us.

VSARA, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State, advises and guides public agencies in records and information management; appraises and schedules public records; preserves and enhances access to the archival records of state government; and operates the state records center.

Source: Secretary of State
Last Updated at: January 10, 2013 09:38:51
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