Public Records Act Policy and Procedures
What is a Public Record?
A public record is any document, device, or item, regardless of physical form or characteristic, including an electronic record, created or received by or coming under the jurisdiction of any public office of the state, which serves to document the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, and other activities of ORDC.
Procedures for Handling a Public Records Request:
- The ORDC will respond to public records requests whether the request is written or verbal and the ORDC will have a copy of its current retention schedule available.
- The ORDC will acknowledge receipt of the request in writing no more than three business days after receipt of the request. You may be asked to put your request in writing, however, if you decline, the ORDC will honor your verbal request.
- If an ORDC employee believes it would help insure the accuracy of the response, you may be asked for identification and the intended use of the information you request, but you are not obligated to give this information.
- If a request is ambiguous or overly broad, the ORDC will provide you an opportunity to revise the request and explain how the records are maintained and accessed at the ORDC.
- If the requested record contains information that is exempt from release (as listed below), the ORDC will make available the portion of the record that is not exempt and clearly redact the exempt portion of the record.
- If a request is denied in whole or in part (by redaction), the ORDC will provide you with an explanation of the denial, which will include the legal authority for the denial.
- Documents will be promptly prepared and made available for inspection. If you want copies of the documents, the ORDC may respond by electronic mail or other means if you have no objection. Please note that you are permitted to choose to have the public record copies on paper or upon any other medium in which it can reasonably be duplicated.
- If you want hard copies, the standard charge is 5 cents per page. The ORDC may charge 50 cents per page if the copies are larger than 8 ½ x 11. Postage may be included in the charges. The copying fee may be waived for requests under 100 pages. The ORDC may also require prepayment of these costs.
- The ORDC will respond to public records requests within a reasonable amount of time. What is a reasonable amount of time depends upon such factors as the extent of the request and physical location of the documents.
Exemptions from the Public Records Act:
The following are examples of records exempt from disclosure under the public records act:
- Any confidential data or information provided to it by railroads R.C. 4981(D).
- Trade secrets and other proprietary information received from private corporations or organizations. R.C. 4981(A)(7).
- Trade secrets, R.C. 1333.61(D).
- Employee medical records, R.C. 149.43(A).
- Social Security numbers, R.C. 149.43(A).
- Certain communications between ORDC employees and an attorney within the staff of ODOT’s Office of Chief Legal Counsel, the Attorney General, or special counsel appointed by the Attorney General.
- Files on current administrative investigations, R.C. 149.43(A)(2).
- Home addresses and home telephone numbers of state employees per State ex rel. Dispatch Printing Co. v. Johnson (2005), 106 Ohio St.3d. 160.
- Any records created or maintained by ORDC for security purposes and infrastructure records that disclose the configuration of the ORDC’s critical systems, including but not limited to, communication, computer, electrical, mechanical, ventilation, water, plumbing systems or security codes. This does not mean a simple floor plan that discloses the physical location of the components of the office, R.C. 149.433.
- Records, the release of which is prohibited by federal law.