SUBJECT: Kansas Open Record Act Official Records Custodian Designation
The 2000 Kansas legislature, partially in reaction to media articles in the past year, has amended and expanded the current public records laws. Senate Substitute for HB2864, which became law July 1, 2000, requires the governing boards of all public entities to designate "a local freedom of information officer."
This newly created designation shall:
"(1) Prepare and provide educational materials and information concerning the open records act;
(2) be available to assist the public agency and members of the general public to resolve disputes relating to the open records act;
(3) respond to inquiries relating to the open records act;
(4) establish the requirements for the content, size, shape and other physical characteristics of a brochure required to be displayed or distributed to otherwise make available to the public under the open records act. In establishing such requirements for the content of the brochure, the local freedom of information officer shall include plainly written basic information about the rights of a requestor, the responsibilities of a public agency, and the procedures for inspecting and obtaining a copy of public records under the open records act." Sen.Sub.HB2864
Other provisions of the new law provide:
"(a) An official custodian shall prominently display or distribute or otherwise make available to the public a brochure in the form prescribed by the local freedom of information officer that contains basic information about the rights of a requestor, the responsibilities of a public agency, and the procedures for inspecting or obtaining a copy of public records under the open records act. The official custodian shall display or distribute or otherwise make available to the public the brochure at one or more places in the administrative offices of the governmental body where it is available to members of the public who request public information in person under this act."
FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS: Minor brochure printing and records retrieval expense manageable within existing budgets.
RECOMMENDATION: President Farley recommends Board of Regents approval of the Vice President for Administration and Treasurer as Official Records Custodian and Washburn University Freedom of Information Officer.
(date) Jerry B. Farley, President