Public Information Request Policies

6.40 Public Information Requests

A. Purpose
To clearly define the college's policy regarding public information requests.

B. Policy
The college will address all public information requests consistent with provisions outlined by RSMo Chapter 610.023 – Missouri Sunshine Law.

C. Procedures

  1. A Custodian of Records shall be appointed by the Chancellor of the college who shall be responsible for the maintenance of all requests submitted to the college. The  identity, location and address of this Custodian are to be made available on request.
  2. All public information requests must be made using a Request for Public Information form.
  3. All public information requests must be submitted to the Custodian of Records.
  4. The Custodian will determine the appropriate method of dispatch for the request. To accomplish this, the Custodian may seek the counsel of any personnel deemed appropriate by the Custodian or the Chancellor of the college.
  5. Upon determining proper dispatch, the Custodian will complete the following:
    • Requests Not Requiring Processing Complete a reply to the requestor detailing why the request is not fitting under the wording of the Sunshine Law, making sure to cite the specific portion of the Sunshine Law used in determinations.Requests Requiring Processing
      • Determine the appropriate fee for processing the request, utilizing the fee schedule outlined in these Procedures. Inform the requestor that payment of no less than 50% of the determined processing fee is required prior to processing of the requested information.
      • After collecting the processing fees, forward the request to the appropriate college Vice Chancellor for research and fulfillment.
      • Plan for the delivery or pickup of the request.
  6. As stipulated by Sunshine Law provisions, all requests will be fulfilled within 3 (three) business days after the receipt of the required fees.
  7. Processing Fee
    • Fees required for processing public information requests can include copying, research, setup and shipping costs. At no time should the total processing fee exceed the actual cost of processing the request. Upon request the Custodian shall certify in writing that the actual cost of document search and duplication is fair, reasonable and does not exceed the actual cost incurred.
    • The Custodian retains the right to waive or reduce the processing fee if such action is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to the public understanding of the operations of the college and it is not in the commercial interest of the requestor.
    • The Custodian shall maintain a log of all processing fees collected. After collection and logging, all moneys received as processing fees shall be remitted to the Vice Chancellor of Finance, or designee, for deposit to the college general fund.
  8. Processing Fee Schedule
    • Copying Fee: 10¢ per page.
    • Research/Setup Fee: Estimated cost of employee’s hourly rate of pay based on salary and benefits.
    • Shipping Fee: Actual costs of shipping materials and postage.

D. Responsibilities

  1. The Custodian of Records is responsible for the timely execution of the Public Information Requests process. This includes receiving and disseminating requests, fee collection and completion of requests.
  2. College Vice Chancellors are required to ensure that all requests are completed within the timeframe allowed to maintain compliance with the Sunshine Law.

E. Definitions
"Custodian" - the Custodians of Records

"Missouri Sunshine Law" - RSMo Chapter 610.023

"Sunshine Law" - see "Missouri Sunshine Law"

F. Authority
This policy is maintained under the authority of the Custodian of Records.

G. Related Policies
N/A

H. Implementation

  1. Policy approved and adopted by the Board of Trustees on 5/19/08.
  2. Purpose, procedures, responsibilities and definitions approved and adopted by the Cabinet on 5/19/08. Set for review on 5/19/12.

For questions relating to the request procedures, please email publicinformationrequests@otc.edu