Kansas Open Records Act
The Importance of Open Records
The ability to access records concerning activities of public agencies is essential for the transparency of government and the ability for each individual to understand how the government is currently functioning. With this understanding individuals are adequately informed to properly engage in our democratic process.
Most records maintained by public entities are open for inspection by the public. Common types of records requested include:
- Minutes from open meetings
- Public official salaries
Public entities subject to the Kansas Open Records Act include:
- School districts
- State agencies
- Any other state or political subdivision, or any office or agency receiving or expending and supported in whole or in part by public funds
Requesting a Record
Each public entity is different, but the process for requesting a public record from public agencies requires the same general steps:
- Communicate with the records custodian of the public entity to determine if the record is available.
- Personal identification and a written request to the records custodian may be required, along with certification that the public record will be not be used for impermissible purposes. Otherwise, a specific form is not required.
- Most records will be produced, but if a request is denied, a written explanation for the denial is required. If a record request is accepted, public agencies may require their attendance during record inspection and copying.
- A response should be produced within three business days from the time the request is received. Public agencies may charge reasonable fees for staff time and materials required to provide access to records.
- For more information, please review the Kansas Attorney General’s FAQ to the Kansas Open Records Act. Each public entity will also have Freedom of Information Officer who can help you obtain records.
Records Not Available for Public Inspection
There are exceptions to the Kansas Open Records Act for records with information which is private in nature, including:
- Personnel information
- Medical records
- Records subject to attorney-client privilege
- Other exceptions listed in K.S.A. 45-221
Requests for records may be denied if:
- The record does not exist
- The request is unreasonably burdensome
- The record meets an exception under the law
Douglas County Open Records Request form
Complete the optional Open Records Request form
- Provide date and contact information
- Identify the records being requested
- Send request to the Freedom of Information Officer
- Some records may be exempted from disclosure
- Fees may apply
Douglas County Fee Schedule
Open Records Requests Contact
Freedom of Information Officer
1100 Massachusetts St. Unit 204
Lawrence, KS 66044