Capital Information Group v. Office of the Governor was a case before the Alaska Supreme Court in 1996 concerning the deliberative process exemption.
This case estblished that actions on the part of the legislature could factor into the balancing test to determine if the public interest overrules the executive deliberative process privilege.
- In the summer of 1993, Capital Information Group (CIG) submitted an open records request for two sets of documents. The first set of documents were budget proposals submitted by the various executive departments per the request of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The second set of documents were proposed legislation submitted by the same executive departments to the Governor's Legislative Liaison. The Governor's Legislative Liaison had also requested these documents.
- The departments rejected the request, claiming that the documents were protected by the deliberative process privilege.
- CIG filed suit and the trial court ruled in favor of the Governor's office.
- CIG appealed the decision
Ruling of the court
The trial court ruled in favor of the Governor's office, declaring that the materials fell under the deliberative process exemption established by Doe v. Superior Court.
The Supreme court delivered a split decision and ordered the release of some documents but not all.
The Supreme Court determined that the deliberative process privilege, established by Doe in order to protect the flow of information and ideas within the Office of the Governor applied to the documents in question because the documents were predecisional in nature and were deliberative in nature because they contained, "opinions, recommendations, or advice about agency policies". The court also determined that the legislation proposals qualified for exemption under the balancing test, which determines whether the public interest in release outweighs the interest of the government and individuals concerned in withholding the documents, established in City of Kenai v. Kenai Peninsula Newspapers. However, the court determined that the balancing test for the budget proposals weighed in favor of disclosure based on the legislatures decision requiring the OMB to release all documents under public records requests pursuant to statute 37.07.050. Based on these facts, the court determined that the proposed legislation could be withheld under the deliberative process exemption, but that the budget proposals needed to be released.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ruling of the Court