The Kansas Open Records Act
The Kansas Open Records Act (KORA), K.S.A. 45-215 et seq., grants a person the right to inspect and obtain copies of public records created or maintained by public agencies in Kansas. Emporia State University is a public agency for purposes of KORA. A 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 a public agency.”
Pursuant to KORA, a person has the right to:
(1) Request assistance from Emporia State’s Freedom of Information Officer (contact information below).
(2) Obtain a copy of Emporia State’s policies and procedures for access to records.
(3) Receive a response to a request within three business days of the date the request was received.
(4) Inspect and obtain copies of public records, which are not exempted from disclosure by law.
(5) File a complaint with the Kansas Attorney General if the requestor feels the request for public records is wrongfully denied.
Public records maintained by Emporia State University include:
- Minutes and records of open meetings
- Salaries of public officials
- Agency budget documents
Requesting a Record
Requests to Emporia State University for access to or copies of public records under KORA must be made in accordance with established guidelines, available here: K.S.A. 45-220.
In general, records requests must:
- Be in writing;
- Include the name and address of the requestor; and
- Include a specific description of the records being requested.
Requests may be submitted to:
Kevin Johnson, Official Custodian of Records
Office of the General Counsel
Emporia State University
1200 Commercial St., Box 4001
Emporia, KS 66801
Fax: (620) 341-5553
Email: KORA@emporia.edu (with the subject line: “Open Records Request”)
Delayed and/or Denied Requests
All efforts will be made to process requests for pubic records as soon as it is received. However, some requests may be delayed if:
- More information is needed;
- Legal issues must be addressed before the records are released;
- The requested records are archived or stored off site; or
- The volume of records is large.
Additionally, requests may be denied in whole or in part if:
- The requested record does not exist;
- The requested record is exempt from disclosure by law; or
- The request “places an unreasonable burden in producing public records” or is “intended to disrupt other essential functions of the public agency.”
A list of names and addresses in public records may not be used to solicit the purchase of service or property.
If the request is denied, the requestor may ask for a written explanation for the denial.
Charges and Fees
Emporia State may charge fees, as specified below, in advance for access to and copying of public records. These fees shall not exceed the actual cost of furnishing copies or computer services, including the cost of staff time required to make the copies, supervise the copying, or provide access to the records.
In addition to charging costs actually incurred by Emporia State as a result of complying with a record request, the following fees may be charged for providing access to or furnishing copies of pubic records:
- Staff time:
- Printed records: $20/hour
- Computerized record retrieval and queries: $35/hour
- Confidentiality/Privilege/Open-closed redaction review: $40/hour
- Non-certified copies of records: $0.25/page
- Certified copies of records: $1.25/page
- Copies produced by outside vendor: actual cost
- Mailing of records: actual cost
- Fax (outgoing U.S. fax only): $0.90/page
Exceptions to KORA
Records that are exempt from disclosure by KORA include:
- Personnel records;
- Medical treatment records;
- Records closed by the rules of evidence;
- Records protected by attorney/client privilege;
- Records containing personal information compiled for census purposes;
- Notes and preliminary drafts; and
- Criminal investigation records.
A list of exceptions can be found in K.S.A. 45-221. Other state and federal statutes may restrict access to records, including educational records protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and information protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Emporia State is only required to provide public records that already exist. There is no requirement for the agency to create a record.
If you have questions about KORA or Emporia State University’s policies under it, or to obtain assistance in resolving disputes related to KORA, contact the Freedom of Information Officer, Kevin Johnson, at (620) 341-5525 or his assistant, Lisa Moritz, at (620) 341-5518.