Office of Open Records Counsels Creates Model Public Records Policy

For the first time in state history, Tennessee government entities now have a model policy to help define how public records requests are handled.

The Comptroller’s Office of Open Records Counsel (OORC) established a model public records policy to assist all Tennessee government entities. The model policy was created after Representative Bill Dunn and Senator Richard Briggs led the passage of Public Chapter 722 during the 109th Tennessee General Assembly.

Public Chapter 722 requires every governmental entity subject to the Tennessee Public Records Act to establish a written public records policy by July 1, 2017. The policy must be adopted by the appropriate governing authority, and the OORC model policy will serve as a helpful resource.

A public records policy must cover the process for making and responding to public records requests, redaction of records, and how fees, if any, are charged for copies. Additionally, the policy must identify who has been designated the Public Records Request Coordinator for the entity.

“This model policy will be an excellent resource for the hundreds of government entities across Tennessee,” said Comptroller Justin P. Wilson. “The Comptroller’s Office of Open Records Counsel stands ready to assist government employees in preparing their entities’ policies.”

The OORC established the model public records policy after receiving public comments, including comments from members of the Advisory Committee on Open Government.

To view the model policy online, go to: http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/openrecords/forms.asp

Source: Justin P. Wilson, Comptroller

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