20.01 / Kansas Open Records Act
I. The Kansas Open Records Act
The Kansas Open Records Act, K.S.A. 45-215 et seq. (the “Act”) grants the public the right to inspect and obtain copies of public records created or maintained by public agencies in Kansas. The Act declares that “public records shall be open for inspection by any person” unless otherwise indicated by the Act. Wichita State University is considered a public agency for purposes of the Act and complies with all provisions thereof.
II. Public Records Maintained by Wichita State University
Public records are any recorded information, regardless of form, characteristics or location, which are made, maintained or kept by or are in the possession of a public agency or any of its officers or employees pursuant to their official duties and related to the public agency. Public records maintained by the University may include, but are not limited to:
- Minutes/records of open meetings
- Salaries of public officials
- Agency budget documents
III. Requesting a Record
Requests to the University for access to or copies of public records under the Act must be made in writing and must include the following contact information:
- Organization (if requesting on its behalf)
- Mailing address
- Email address
- Daytime phone number
- A specific description of the records requested (all requests should be as specific as possible to expedite the process)
Requests should be sent to the University’s Official Custodian of Records:
Custodian of Public Records
Wichita State University
Wichita, KS 67260-0205
IV. Delayed and Declined Requests
All effort is made to fully respond to a records request as soon as it is received. A full response may be delayed if:
- Clarification or refined scope is required;
- Legal issues must be resolved before requested records can be produced;
- The records are archived or stored off-site; or
- The scope or large volume of requested records requires more time to assess record existence, availability, and any fees incurred to produce.
If further delay is required, the University will provide its explanation and the earliest date by which it expects a response.
A request may be declined in whole or in part if:
- The requested records do not exist;
- The requested records are exempt from disclosure by law (see K.S.A. 45-221(a)); or
- The request is insufficiently clear in scope.
Permission to access public records may also be declined if the request “places an unreasonable burden in producing public records or the custodian has reason to believe that repeated requests are intended to disrupt other essential functions of the public agency.” See K.S.A. 45-218(e).
V. Fees and Costs
Commensurate with the actual costs of University employee time and resources, fees shall be charged for the retrieval, review (e.g. processing, examining and redacting), and productions of public records. Payment of total estimated fees is required in advance of records production.
In accordance with K.S.A. 45-219, the University has established the following fee schedule:
- Staff rate for retrieval and/or review: based upon employee’s annual salary/hourly pay rate
- Outsourcing retrieval and/or review: actual cost incurred by University
- Specialized computer retrieval: $75/hour
- Digital transmission or mailing fee: $1.50
- Copying: 10 cents per page
If the actual cost in time and resources exceeds the fee estimate, the requester will be billed for the balance of fees incurred, with full payment required before records production. If the actual cost incurred is less than the fee estimate, the requester will be refunded any difference over $5.00. Payment must be made at the Office of Financial Operations in Jardine Hall, 2nd floor.
VI. Freedom of Information Officer
For questions regarding the Act or the University’s policies under it, or to obtain assistance in resolving disputes related to the Act, contact the Freedom of Information Officer:
Freedom of Information Officer
102 Morrison Hall, Campus Box 62
Wichita State University
Wichita, Kansas 67260-0062
All employees are required to follow this policy and all published associated procedures. Failure to do so may result in discipline, up to and including termination. Any questions regarding this policy or requests made pursuant to this policy shall be directed to the Office of General Counsel.
May 8, 2018