|Public Record Requests
||Approved Date 11-14-2017
Effective Date 11-14-2017
Revision No. 1.0
This policy establishes guidelines for processing requests to examine or obtain copies of public records maintained, cared for, and kept by the college.
2.0 Revision History
3.0 Persons Affected
3.1 Board of Trustees members
3.2 All Casper College employees
3.3 The public
The policy of Casper College is to ensure the following.
4.1 The college provides access to examine or obtain copies of public records upon request and in accordance with federal and state laws.
4.2 The college abides by federal and state laws regarding access to public records.
5.1 College Record. Any information in a physical form, including written, aural, visual, electronic, or any other physical forms, created or received in the transaction of public business. In general, a college record contains information that is evidence of the college’s functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, agreements, contracts, applications, financial documents, mission, programs, projects, or activities. All college records are the property of the state of Wyoming and must be preserved, stored, transferred, destroyed, or otherwise managed, in accordance with W.S.9-2-405 through 9-2-413.
5.2 Non-record. Any information in a physical form, including written, aural, visual, electronic, or any other physical forms that does not contain information that is evidence of the college’s functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, agreements, contracts, applications, financial documents, mission, programs, projects, or activities. Examples include sales catalogs, junk mail, spam, external listservs, drafts, and personal correspondence. Non-records should be destroyed as soon as they are no longer useful.
5.3 Public Record. Any college records that exists and are not privileged or confidential by law.
5.4 Person of Interest (POI). The person who is the subject of a record or their designated representative. If the subject is a dependent, the POI is the subject’s parent or appointed legal representative.
5.5 Record Custodian. Any affected person who has personal custody and control of a record.
5.6 Official Custodian. The college employee responsible for the maintenance, care, and preservation of college records regardless of the location of the records. The vice president of administrative services is the official custodian for Casper College.
5.7 Requester. The person or organization requesting to examine or obtain copies of college public records.
5.8 Redact. To hide or remove confidential information in a record, prior to the release of the record for examination in response to a public record request.
5.9 Copies. Reproduction of records to include paper or electronic copies, printouts, or photographs.
5.10 Fees. Charges the college may charge the requester for copies or, in the case of electronic records, the cost to construct the record, including programming and computer services, and produce a copy. The college may also charge a fee to supervise the requester making copies. The official custodian sets the fee. Fees must be reasonable. The college may not charge a fee for costs associated with examining public records.
6.1 Record custodians are responsible for maintenance and care of records in their possession, transferring records when they leave a position or the college, and for knowing and following the record management procedures established for their unit.
6.2 The public is responsible for requesting records in accordance with this policy.
6.3 The vice president of administrative services is responsible for maintaining compliance with this policy and for acting as the official custodian.
7.1 The requester submits a written request to access public records to the official custodian. The request should include the specific records being requested and the name and contact information for the requester. Generally, the more specific the request the easier it is to respond to the requester.
7.2 The official custodian must notify the requester in writing within seven business days from when the official custodian received the request, of the receipt of the request, if the college is the custodian of the requested records, and the availability of the records. The official custodian must immediately release records that are readily available, unless doing so would impair or impede the college’s ability to discharge its other duties. If the records are not readily available, the college will make every effort to respond to a request in a timely manner. Request may be delayed if:
- the official custodian needs more information to fulfill the request
- an attorney needs to review the records prior to release
- portions of the records need to be redacted
- the records requested are in active use or storage and not easily accessible
- the volume requested is large
- the record exists primarily or solely in electronic format and needs to be converted into an alternative format to protect the security or integrity of the original record or any proprietary software in which the record is maintained
The official custodian may deny a public records request, in whole or in part, if the examination would be contrary to state or federal statute or regulations issued having the force and effect of law or rules promulgated by the Supreme Court or the order of any court of record prohibits the examination of the records. W.S. 16-4-201 through 16-4-205 excludes certain records from disclosure that contain private or privileged information or on the grounds that the disclosure would be contrary to public interest or create safe hazard or jeopardize security. Review W.S. 16-4-201 through 16-4-205 for exempted records. The college is not required to produce records that do not exist at the time of the request or create a new record, answer questions, prepare reports, or compile or extract information.
The official custodian will provide the requester with a written statement citing the reason(s) why the request is being denied.
The requester may apply to the district court where the record is found for an order directing the official custodian to show cause for denying access to the records requested. The official custodian may also apply for an order from the district court to restrict disclosure citing substantial injury to the public interest.
7.3 If the official custodian approves a request to examine records, the requester will arrange a time during regular business hours with the official custodian to examine the records. The college will redact any portion of a record that is exempt from disclosure. Records may not be removed from the designated viewing area.
If the official custodian approves a request for copies of records, the official custodian will provide them in an electronic format if the record is available in electronic form; otherwise, they will be provided in paper format. The college will redact any portion of a record that is exempt from disclosure.
If the college does not have the capability to make copies of the records, the official custodian will grant the requester access to the records to do so. However, the records must remain in the possession, custody, and control of the custodian and are subject to the supervision of the custodian. The requester should make copies on-site when possible. If this is impractical, the requester will arrange access to the records with the official custodian. The requester is responsible for all cost associated with making the copies. The college may charge a fee to supervise the process and records.