Open Records Operating Procedure 218.01
Series: 200 Administrative Services
Cross-Reference: Open Records Policy 218.00
The Kansas Open Records Act (the "Act") generally grants any person the right to inspect and obtain copies of public records created or maintained by public agencies in Kansas. Johnson County Community College ("JCCC" or the "College") is considered a public agency under the Act. “Public record” is defined as "any recorded information, regardless of form or characteristics, which is made, maintained or kept by or is in the possession of any public agency." Records commonly inspected by the public include Board policies and procedures, meeting minutes, resolutions, financial and budget documents, and procurement records.
II. Rights under the Kansas Open Records Act
Any person has the right to inspect and/or obtain copies of public records created or maintained by JCCC, including the right to:
- Obtain a copy of the College’s procedures for access to records.
- Inspect and obtain copies of public records that are not exempted from disclosure by a specific law.
- Receive a written response to a request within three business days. The response may state that it will take additional time to produce the records.
- File a complaint with the Kansas Attorney General if the request for public records is wrongfully denied.
The Kansas Open Records Act recognizes that certain records contain private or privileged information, the disclosure of which is inconsistent with public policy. The Act lists several exceptions, including but not limited to:
- Personnel records of public employees
- Medical treatment records
- Records protected by attorney-client privilege
- Records closed by the rules of evidence
- Records containing personal information compiled for census purposes
- Notes and preliminary drafts
- Criminal investigation records
- Records of emergency or security information
- Proprietary business information
A complete list of exemptions can be found in K.S.A. 45-221.
Additionally, the College is only required to provide public records that already exist. There is no requirement for the College to answer questions, prepare reports or create a record upon request.
Nothing in the Act supersedes federal law, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and/or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
If a record is only partially exempted from disclosure, the College will delete the exempted materials and make available the material that is subject to disclosure.
IV. Requesting a Record
The College's Vice President, Information Services/Chief Information Officer (CIO) serves as the College's freedom of information officer and receives open records requests on behalf of the College.
Requests to access public records must be in writing and include the following information:
- Name of person making the request
- Mailing address and email
- Daytime telephone number
- Fax number, if applicable
- A specific description of the requested records (requests should include as much detail and specificity as possible to expedite the process)
The records custodian, as designated by the College’s freedom of information officer, may ask detailed questions in order to fulfill the request accurately and may request proof of identity. If the request is unclear, the individual making the request may be asked to complete an Open Records Request Form. Additionally, if the request concerns certain personal information, the requesting individual may be asked to sign an affidavit confirming that information disclosed will not be used for any prohibited purpose under the Act or other applicable laws.
Requests for records must be mailed or emailed to:
Freedom of Information Officer
Johnson County Community College
12345 College Blvd., #60
Overland Park, Kansas 66210
Most records will be produced within three business days from the time the request is received. If the request is delayed or denied, a written explanation will be provided.
Regular office hours are business days, Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. to noon and 1:00 p.m. to 5 p.m. An appointment to inspect and/or copy records may be scheduled during those hours. The College is closed on official holidays and for winter break (see JCCC academic calendar). College records must remain in the possession and control of a College employee during inspection and/or copying. Alternatively, in the discretion of the College, the records custodian may arrange to send copies of the requested records in lieu of an in-person inspection.
Questions about these procedures or a pending request for records may be directed to the College’s freedom of information officer, as listed above.
V. Charges and Fees
The College may charge reasonable fees, not exceeding the actual cost, for access to records, copies of records and employee time for processing an open records request. Charges will be collected in advance.
The fees charged will equal the actual cost of furnishing copies, including the cost of employee time required to make copies or supervise the copying. Fees for providing access to computer records will include the cost of computer services, including the employee time required.
Some of the fees that may be charged for providing access to or furnishing copies of public records are:
- Photocopies: $.20 per page
- Scanned data: $.25 per page
- Mailing: $1.50
- Actual postage costs
- Fax: $.80 per page
- CD: $1.25 each
- Access/inspection costs (employee): $35.00/hour
- Computer access: $50.00/hour
As appropriate, fees may also include third party consulting or legal charges, including the costs related to any necessary redactions to the requested documentation.
VI. Delayed and/or Denied Requests
The College will make every effort to process a request for public records as soon as it is received. However, there are a number of reasons that a request may be delayed or denied, including:
Requests may be delayed if:
- More information is needed in order to retrieve the records
- Legal issues must be addressed before the records are disclosed
- The requested records are archived or stored off-site
- The volume of records requested is large and will take time to produce
Requests may be denied in whole or in part if:
- The requested records do not exist
- The request was unclear or vague and needs to be resubmitted
- The requested records are exempt from disclosure under the exceptions listed at K.S.A. 45-221, or other applicable law
- The request places an unreasonable burden on the College in producing public records
- The records custodian has reason to believe that repeated requests are intended to disrupt other essential functions of the public agency
If the request is delayed or denied, the College will provide a written explanation.
The College is not required to furnish copies of radio or recording tapes or disks, videos or films, photographs, slides, graphics, illustrations or similar audio or visual items or devices unless such items or devices were shown or played at a public meeting of the JCCC Board of Trustees.
Signature on File in Policy Office