Open Records Operating Procedure 218.01
The following procedures are enacted in accordance with Open Records Policy – 218.00.
JCCC Open Records Act Request Procedures
The Kansas Open Records Act (the “Act”), grants you the right to inspect and obtain copies of public records created or maintained by public agencies in Kansas. The Act declares that it is the public policy of Kansas that “public records shall be open for inspection by any person.” Public records are 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.” Johnson County Community College (“JCCC” or the “College”) is considered a public agency under the Act.
Many records maintained by the College are open for inspection, such as:
- Minutes and records of open meetings
- Salaries of public officials
- Budget documents
You have the right to inspect and/or obtain copies of public records created or maintained by JCCC, including the right to:
- Inspect and obtain copies of public records that are not exempted from disclosure by a specific law.
- Obtain a copy of the College’s procedures for access to records.
- Receive a written response to your request within three business days. The response may inform you that it will take additional time to produce the records.
- File a complaint with the Kansas Attorney General if you feel your request for public records is wrongfully denied.
The Kansas Open Records Act recognizes that certain records contain private or privileged information.
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
- Proprietary business information
A complete list of exemptions can be found in K.S.A. 45-221.
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. Records that are exempt because they pertain to an identifiable individual are subject to disclosure if it is possible to delete the identifying portions of the records, unless individuals' identities are reasonably ascertainable.
Public records more than 70 years old are open for inspection without regard to the exemptions listed above. Disclosure of such records is prohibited only if federal or state law so provides.
Requesting a Record
The College’s Chief Information Officer, serves as the College’s interim freedom of information officer and handles open records requests.
Please put your request in writing and include the following information:
- Mailing address
- Daytime telephone number
- Fax number, if applicable
- A specific description of the records you are requesting (make your request as specific 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 your request accurately and may request proof of your identify. If your request is unclear, you may be asked to complete a JCCC KORA Request Form, and if your request concerns certain personal information, you may be asked sign an affidavit confirming that you will not use the information for any prohibited purpose under the Act or other applicable laws.
Mail a request to inspect or obtain records to:
Denise Moore, vice president and CIO
Johnson County Community College
12345 College Blvd.
Overland Park, Kansas 66210
You may also email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most records will be produced within three business days from the time the request is received. If the request is delayed or denied, you will receive a written explanation.
Regular office hours are business days, Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. to noon and 1:00 p.m. to 5 p.m. Records may be inspected 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 staff member during inspection and/or duplication.
If you have any questions about your request, you may contact the college’s freedom of information officer, as listed above.
Charges and Fees
The College may charge reasonable fees, not exceeding the actual cost, for access to records, copies of records and staff time for processing your request. Charges will be collected in advance. Fees for providing access to computer records shall include the cost of computer services, including staff time required.
The fees charged will equal the actual cost of furnishing copies, including the cost of staff 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 staff 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 (staff): $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.
Delayed and/or Denied Requests
The College will make every effort to process your 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 applicable case law
Permission to inspect or copy public records may also be denied if:
- the request “places an unreasonable burden in producing public records”
- the custodian of the records “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, you will receive 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
Joseph M. Sopcich