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Open Records Rules and Regulations
Public policy requires “free and open examination of public records.” KRS 61.871. Accordingly, the Agency must respond effectively and efficiently to records requests in a consistent and coordinated manner. Therefore, this Open Records Policy (“Policy”) sets forth the standards for all Agency employees when a records request is received and ensures compliance with all applicable open records laws.
This Policy supersedes any relevant policy that previously existed. All employees shall read this policy and complete the Policy Acknowledge Form to indicate that they have read, understand, and will comply with this Policy.
The Agency shall designate an employee as its Records Custodian. The Records Custodian shall review the Kentucky Open Records Act, 200 KAR 1:020, and “The Kentucky Open Records & Open Meetings Acts: A guide for the public and public agencies” published by the Office of the Attorney General. The Records Custodian shall ensure compliance with the Kentucky Open Records Act, 200 KAR 1:020, this Policy, and all relevant requests.
The Office designates the following Records Custodian:
PO Box 455, McKee, KY 40447
Responding to Records Requests
All requests for copies or review of public records in the custody of the Agency must be made in writing. A request may be sent electronically to the Record Custodian’s email address identified above. Requests may also be mailed to the Agency or hand delivered to the Agency’s mailing address identified above. Requests need to include the requesting party’s name, address, and e-mail address (if copies are requested), precise identification of records to be inspected, a statement indicating whether the records will be used for a commercial purpose, a statement that the requesting party is a resident of the commonwealth pursuant to KRS 61.870(10), and a signature and date, as well as a method of delivery if copies are requested.
The Records Custodian shall provide a response to the records request that is postmarked or electronically transmitted within five business days of the date the request is received. Notice promptly shall be sent to the requesting party if additional time is needed under KRS Chapter 61. When a response is delayed, the notice shall specifically indicate that additional time is required to process the request and explain the circumstances justifying additional processing time.
The Records Custodian shall determine whether the requester has reasonably described records within the possession of the Agency. If no such records are identified, the request may be denied on those grounds. However, if it is reasonably believed that another public agency is in possession of the records described in the request, the Records Custodian shall refer the requester to the appropriate records custodian, providing both their name and contact information. If it is determined that the records are within the Agency’s possession, the Records Custodian shall gather them for processing. Records that are responsive shall be segregated from nonresponsive records (i.e., records that were not requested). The Records Custodian shall then examine responsive records to determine which records, if any, are exempt from disclosure and make appropriate redactions.
If the Records Custodian determines that the records request should be denied in whole or in part, the Records Custodian shall notify the requester with an explanation for the decision to withhold any responsive records, citing the specific exemption in statute as the basis for withholding. If any part of a request for records is denied, the Records Custodian shall confer with legal counsel to ensure accuracy in applying the law.
If the request places an unreasonable burden for producing public records, or if the Records Custodian has reason to believe that repeated requests are intended to disrupt other essential functions of the Agency, the Records Custodian may refuse to produce the records upon conferring with legal counsel prior to denying the request.
Record Production and Fees
When responsive records are to be transmitted electronically to the requester, there is no charge to the requester. However, if the responsive material is more than 8 megabytes (“MB”), the documents will automatically be produced via thumb drive and mailed to the requester. Prior to mailing, the Records Custodian shall provide an invoice to the requester for the production and postage. The fee for each Flash Drive is $2.50, which is the actual cost of each thumb drive upon the total cost of all thumb drives in the package. A thumb drive containing responsive records will be mailed upon receipt of payment.
When responsive records are to be mailed to the requester, the Records Custodian shall first provide an invoice to the requester for the production and postage. Printing costs are $0.10 per page, and additional fees shall be justified on any invoice. Copies of photographs, maps, and other such records shall be furnished to any person requesting them on payment of a fee equal to the Agency’s actual cost to produce the copies. Estimated costs shall be communicated to the requestor before costs are incurred. After the invoice is paid, the Records Custodian shall produce the responsive records to the requester.
If the requester wishes to personally inspect responsive records at the Agency’s headquarters, or the location where the records are maintained, the Records Custodian shall facilitate with the requester the scheduling of a convenient time and place for inspection between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Records Custodian, or an employee of the Agency, shall be present and personally monitor the inspection.