PUBLIC RECORDS POLICY
I. Policy Provision
All public records requests must be reviewed by the Tuition Trust Authority General Counsel prior to any information being provided to the requestor.
Any item that:
- Contains information stored on a fixed medium (such as paper, computer, film, email, etc.)
- Is created, received, or sent under the jurisdiction of the Tuition Trust Authority.
- Documents the Tuition Trust Authority organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations or other activities.
- Any person may ask to inspect and/or receive copies of public records. “Any person” includes individuals or corporations, and is not limited to Ohio residents.
- When a public records request is received by a Tuition Trust Authority employee, the following pertinent information regarding the request should be documented in writing:
- When the request was received
- From whom it was received
- Specifics regarding the records being sought
- The Tuition Trust Authority’s General Counsel should be immediately contacted regarding all records requested so that a determination can be made as to whether the records requested are in fact public records and/or whether there is a need to redact certain information before disclosure. The Tuition Trust Authority’s General Counsel will evaluate all requests and discuss how individual requests should be processed.
- The request should specifically and particularly describe the record being sought. A request for information, as opposed to a particular record, may not be a legally adequate request. Although Ohio law does not require a written request, to avoid misunderstandings as to the records requested, it is preferable to have the request in writing. If the requestor declines to provide the request in writing, the employee who receives the request should promptly create a written document recording the employee’s understanding of what public records are being requested.
- The requestor is not required to give a reason for the request. However, it is permissible to ask the reason for the request if, for example, understanding the use for which the information is sought will assist the Tuition Trust Authority in determining the records best suited for that purpose.
- The requestor has a right to receive the record duplicated on paper, or upon the same medium upon which the Tuition Trust Authority keeps it (e.g., computer disk or magnetic tape), or upon any other medium that the Tuition Trust Authority determines can reasonably be duplicated as part of normal operations.
- To maintain the integrity of the Tuition Trust Authority’s records, it is our agency’s policy that we will perform duplication of all requested records.
IV. Delivery of Requests
- When copies of public records are requested, the Tuition Trust Authority will provide such records within a reasonable period of time.
- When inspection of public records is requested, the Tuition Trust Authority will arrange an appointment for inspection at a mutually convenient time during regular business hours. The Tuition Trust Authority will prepare and make available the records for inspection at a location within its office at 35 E. Chestnut St., 8th Floor, Columbus, Ohio, 43215 which will minimally disrupt the normal working environment. The General Counsel or designee shall accompany the requestor at all times to insure the integrity of records and to make certain original records are not removed from the premises, destroyed, or altered in any way.
V. Cost to Fulfill Request
- For duplication of public records on paper, the Tuition Trust Authority may charge the requestor its actual cost of production, which is five cents ($.05) per page for each photocopy. For duplication of public records on any other medium (e.g. computer disc, etc.) the Tuition Trust Authority may charge actual cost to accomplish the duplication.
- If requested, copies of public records should be mailed via regular United States postal service within a reasonable period of time after receiving the request. The Tuition Trust Authority may require the requestor to pay in advance for all copies, as well as the cost of postage and mailing supplies prior to mailing.
There are several exceptions to the general availability of public records. The General Counsel shall examine each request and assert, if applicable, the appropriate exception.
Revised: August 21, 2009