Open Government Principles In Guam
Embracing the principles of open government and disclosure, the Sunshine Act of 1987 is set forth in Title 5 of the Guam Code Annotated Chapter 10. 1 Section 10102 then sets forth a series of definitions. In relevant part, it provides:
Unless the context otherwise requires, the following terms and meanings apply to this Chapter:
(a) Agency means any authority of the government and includes a department, institution, board, bureau, commission, council, committee of territorial government, branch, autonomous instrumentality, or other public entity of the government of Guam, whether or not it is within or subject to review by another agency.
(b) Writings are written acts or records of the acts of the government of Guam and are either public or private.
(c) Public writings are:
(1) the written acts or records of the acts of the sovereign authority, of the official bodies and tribunals, and of public officers or employees, legislative, judicial and executive, of the territory of Guam; and
(2) public records kept in Guam, of private writings.
(3) all data, not otherwise privileged, produced, generated or stored by a governmental body in connection with procurement, unless the Policy Office determines that such material is a trade secret of the person or entity submitting the material. the terms used in this Subsection are to be interpreted in the same way as in Chapter 5 of this Code (Procurement). Public writings also include the scores by public school of the National Standardized Achievement Test and/or any locally standardized achievement test by public school. Individual test score results by student shall not be considered a public document or writing.
(d) Private writings are all other writings which are not public writings. 5 GCA 10102 (1993).
Re-enforcing the Sunshine Act's intent to allow the public access to information, Section 10103 articulates the Sunshine Act's main purpose. Entitled, "Right of Inspection of Public Writings," it provides in its entirety, "every person has the right to inspect and take a copy of any public writing on Guam, except as otherwise expressly prohibited in law, and except as provided in 10104 of this Chapter." 5 GCA 10103 (1993).
Off-setting the general policy of disclosure, section 10104 of the Sunshine Act provides:
(a) None of the following documents may be inspected and copied pursuant to 10103
of this Chapter unless permitted by any other law of Guam:
(2) the personnel file of any employee of the government without his consent, except that relevant material in said file shall be open to inspection after a final decision has been rendered in any tribunal which may have jurisdiction over the subject matter in the file. All information regarding salary, and the name, age, and mail address of each employee shall be public. 5 GCA 10104 (a) (2) (1993).
In Rhode Island Federation of Teachers v. Sundlun, 595 A.2d 799 (1991) the plaintiff sought an injunction barring the Governor from disclosing records relating to individuals that received state pension benefits. the statute at issue in Sundlun was the Access to Public Records Act (hereinafter, "APRA"). Id. at 800.