Aksamit Resource Management v. Nebraska Public Power DistrictAnnotate this Case
According to the plain language of Neb. Rev. Stat. 84-712.05(3), public records useful to an energy policy debate must be released despite an advantage flowing to a competitor.
Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) refused a public records request from potential competitors for documents showing cost and revenue information for each of its generation units. NPPD maintained that the requested documents fell within the exemption contained in section 84-712.05(3), which exempts from disclosure “proprietary or commercial information which if released would give advantage to business competitors and serve no public purpose.” The competitors sought a writ of mandamus to compel disclosure. The district court declined to issue a writ, concluding that the information sought was proprietary or commercial to NPPD and that, if released publicly, would give advantage to NPPD’s competitors. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that, construing the exemption at issue narrowly, NPPD failed to demonstrate by clear and conclusive evidence that the information sought would serve no public purpose.