HCPSS MPIA Request #2022-040

Colleen Morris
Howard County Education Association
Requested Information
Can I please have all ethics advisory opinions issued in the last 6 months as well as any and all corresponding documents used to come to those decisions.
Date Received
Responsive Documents
Responsive to this request, please find attached records of one advisory opinion issued by the HCPSS Ethics Panel during the timeframe requested, along with records used by the Panel in the decision for that case. MPIA GP § 4-301(a)(2)(i) requires an agency to deny inspection of any part of a public record that would be contrary to State statute, and it is advised in the Fifteenth Edition of the Maryland Public Information Act Manual created by Maryland’s Office of the Attorney General, that “a confidentiality provision in a local ordinance that is derived from a State statute can be a basis for denying access to records.” As outlined in the Howard County Public School System Ethics Regulations, whose establishment is required in accordance with GP § 5-816, advisory opinions will be made public “with the identity of the name deleted” (V)(F)(3). Under this and MPIA GP § 4-311, which prevents disclosure of personnel records of an individual, we have redacted identifying information of staff throughout the responsive records as well as personnel communications. Additionally, under MPIA GP § 4-330, we have redacted sociological information where it contains personal phone numbers, addresses (also under MPIA GP § 4-331 for personal contact information specifically of public employees), and/or has the potential to pose a risk to individual safety or privacy.

*Some request language is summarized to include the requester's specific document requests and legally protected information (such as personally identifiable information of a student) or personal, defamatory and malicious content removed at the discretion of the school system.

**Responses containing legally protected information available only to the person of interest are omitted from the above report.

***Howard County Public Schools reserves the right to remove erroneous or outdated documents from this site.