The purpose of this policy is to assure prompt and equitable service to citizens requesting access to public records, including those records created by electronic mail, in accordance with the requirements of C.R.S. 24-72-201 to C.R.S. 24-72-206. This policy does not apply to criminal justice records.
Background: C.R.S. 24-72-202(6) defines public record as “all writings made, maintained, or kept by the state or any agency, institution, or political subdivision for use in the exercise of functions required or authorized by law or administrative rule or involving the receipt or expenditure of public funds.” Public records also includes, generally, the correspondence of elected officials, except to the extent that
- such correspondence is a work product,
- without a demonstrable connection to the exercise of functions required by law or
- administrative rule, or
- a communication from a constituent to an elected official that clearly implies by its content that the constituent expects that it is confidential in nature, or
- subject to nondisclosure under C.R.S. 24-72-204(1).
Additionally, C.R.S. 24-72-202(7) defines writings to include “all books, papers, maps, photographs, cards, tapes, recordings, or other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics. Writings include digitally stored data, including without limitation electronic mail messages, but does not include computer software.”
It shall be the policy of the Mancos Public Library to make those records available for public inspection as set forth in the Colorado Open Records Act, C.R.S. 24-72-201, et. seq.
All requests for public records shall be made in writing on the Public Records Request Form. Many of the requests can be filled immediately; however, if the public records requested are in active use, in storage, or otherwise not readily available at the time the request is made, the custodian shall set a date at which time the records can be inspected that is within three (3) working days of the date the request was made. Such period may be extended if extenuating circumstances exist (per C.R.S. 24-72-203(3)(b)), but the extension period shall not exceed seven (7) working day. Extenuating circumstances cannot apply to a request that relates to a single, specifically identified document.
Electronic records and electronic communications: Records stored on magnetic or optical disk, on audio/visual tapes, microfilm, microfiche and as digital images may be public records and open to disclosure. After receiving a written request for records stored in any of the aforementioned media, staff may take any measures necessary to assist the public in locating any specific public records, including but not limited to, the availability of viewing stations for microfilm, microfiche or digital images, the provision of portable disk copies or computer files, or direct electronic access via on-line bulletin boards or other means.
Correspondence of any employee which is in the form of electronic mail may be a public record under the public records law and may be subject to public inspection under C.R.S. 24-72-203 and the policy of the Mancos Public Library.
Inspection of public records: In order to safeguard the integrity of the Library’s records, the custodian of the records to be inspected shall retain control of the records at all times. Inspection of all public records is subject to the supervision of the records custodian. Inspection of public records will generally be scheduled during the business hours of 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays.
Denial of inspection: Access to public records may be denied in accordance with the provisions of the Open Records Act. If access is denied, the custodian of the records will notify the applicant in writing of the grounds for the denial. Reasons for denial of access to public records will also be noted in writing on the Public Records Request Form.
Fees and Charges
Fees and charges for public records shall be as follows:
- Copies of public records may not exceed twenty-five cents per standard page. A standard page is a document created from a word processing function and which is generated onto paper sized 8 1/2 x 11″ to 11 x 17″ from a non-color printer.
- Fees for providing a copy, printout, or photograph of a public record in a format other than a standard page may not exceed the actual cost to the library. This means, if the public record is a result of computer output other than word processing, e.g. DVDs, CDs, VHS, cassette tapes, digital data, GIS maps, ward maps, and oversized documents (larger than 11 x 17″) the fee will be based on recovery of the actual incremental costs of providing the electronic services and products together with a reasonable portion of the cost associated with building and maintaining the information system. (This fee may be waived by the official custodian if the electronic services and products are to be used for a governmental purpose).
- If a public records request includes a request for data in a form not used by the Library, and if the Library has to manipulate that data to provide it in the request form, a reasonable fee, not to exceed the actual cost of manipulating that data, may be charged to the requesting party.
- Occasionally, a request for public records will involve the need to perform extensive research and/or retrieval of documents. While the Library has a clear obligation to provide public records and information, it cannot effectively serve as a research service for citizens without affecting its ability to provide normal and usual services. Therefore, departments may charge for research or retrieval that takes more than one-half hour to perform. The charge for this research or retrieval will be the hourly rate, including benefits, of the least-technically-trained person required to accomplish the task. Time spent inspecting documents and redacting exempt information will be included in the calculation. The Library may require and collect a 50% advance deposit of estimated research, retrieval and copy fees for public records requests that will require significant staff time and resources to complete. The Library may require and collect 100% advance deposit of estimated research, retrieval and copy fees for public records requests from any person who has made a previous retrieval request and not paid or not come in to view the requested information. Requestors who have not come in to view the requested information within ten (10) working days of being notified that the information is available for review will be required to submit a new public records request.
- The Mancos Public Library does not charge for public records requests for up to 20 standard pages of readily available documents from the following groups or persons:
- Members of the Mancos Library District Board of Trustees and staff.
- Other government officials or organizations or professional associations.
- Students requesting documents for a specific class research project.The custodian of records may waive the cost for retrieval and or copying of records, provided the records requested will not require manipulation of data to produce, and do not exceed 20 standard pages.
- The Library will respond to requests for access to public records stored electronically and in computer databases by providing, upon written request, a copy, disk, or printout, and not by allowing access to a computer terminal or the use of a private terminal connected to the Library’s computer system. The exception is any public information provided by the Library on the Internet or made available for public research purposes at a viewing station.
- Retention schedules: All public records of the Mancos Public Library regardless of storage format, will have retention schedules approved by the State Archives in accordance with state law. (Resolution No. 49, Series 2009).