AG: Groups must share contractThe University of North Dakota’s foundation and alumni association must make public a copy of their contract with a computer software company, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said.
By: By Dale Wetzel, The Associated Press , The Jamestown Sun
BISMARCK — The University of North Dakota’s foundation and alumni association must make public a copy of their contract with a computer software company, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said.
A request for disclosure followed the Alumni Association’s report last October that a laptop computer belonging to an employee of the company, Blackbaud Inc., had been stolen from a vehicle.
The laptop had private financial information from more than 84,000 UND alumni and contributors. It was encrypted to make it difficult for a thief to access.
Terry Narum asked for a copy of the contract because he wanted to know why the UND Foundation and the UND Alumni Association had his Social Security number, Stenehjem said in a legal opinion made public Monday. Narum could not be reached immediately for comment.
The two organizations claimed they were not subject to North Dakota’s open records law. However, the software contract was covered by the law because UND hired the association and foundation to maintain a database of its financial supporters, Stenehjem’s opinion said. The organizations had Narum’s Social Security number for that reason.
The two organizations “are subject to the open records law with regard to records that may be received or prepared for use in connection with public business, or contain information relating to public business,” the opinion says.
Stenehjem on Monday said the company was Blackbaud. Based in Charleston, S.C., the company makes software for managing fundraising for nonprofit organizations. It counts a number of universities among its clients, according to its Web site.