A RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING A PUBLIC RECORDS POLICY
SECTION 1. According to ORS 192.420, every person has the right to inspect non-exempt public records of the City of Ashland subject to reasonable procedures.
The City of Ashland recognizes and respects the public's right to public documents and the importance of maintaining orderly files to facilitate public access in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
The State Attorney General suggests that public bodies establish protective measures to maintain the integrity of public records or to prevent interference with the duties of the records custodians.
The State Attorney General recommends there be a process in which the public has an opportunity to comment on these measures.
The City of Ashland desires to adopt a policy addressing the procedure for inspection of public records within the City of Ashland.
Oregon State Statutes allow for reasonable fees to be calculated in order to reimburse local government costs for providing those records.
|1.||1. The City shall provide proper and reasonable opportunities for inspection and examination of the records during usual business hours.|
|2.||2. All requests to inspect public records shall be in writing when practicable with the date, name, address, and signature of the person making the request or sufficient e-mail metadata for the City to make an appropriate response.|
|3.||3. The request must contain, if known, a statement of sufficient specificity to determine the nature, content, and probable department in which the record is located.|
|4.||4. The City shall respond to a person who makes a written request for public records as soon as practicable and without unreasonable delay. The response will acknowledge receipt of the request and include one of the following:|
|a.||A statement the City does not possess, or is not the custodian of the public record;|
|b.||A statement from the City that it needs clarification of the request;|
|c.||Copies of all requested public records for which the City does not claim an exemption from disclosure under ORS 192.410 to 192.505;|
|d.||A statement that the City is the custodian of at least some of the requested public records, the amount of time the City needs before the records will be available to the requestor, and a cost estimate for providing the records;|
|e.||A statement that the City is uncertain if it is in possession of the records and the amount of time the City needs to search for the records; or|
|f.||A statement that the public records are exempted from public disclosure under state and federal law.|
SECTION 3. The City shall not create any new documents or customize any existing documents in response to a records request. However, the City may prepare and release a condensation from a record as permitted under ORS 192.502(9)(b).
SECTION 4. If the public record is maintained in a machine readable or electronic form, the City shall provide a copy of the public record in the form requested, if available. If the public record is not available in the form requested, the City shall make the public records available in the form in which it is maintained.
SECTION 5. A person making a public record request may personally inspect the requested document during normal business hours. A City staff member shall be present while any original public documents are being inspected to insure protection of the documents.
SECTION 6. Providing nonexempt public records is a governmental activity covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The City will provide an opportunity for individuals with disabilities to request an alternative form.
SECTION 7. The Legal Department of the City must review the requested document to make certain the record does not contain any exempt information before releasing the public record for inspection. If a document does contain exempt information, a copy, in lieu of the original will be provided for inspection with the exempt portion redacted. The cost of having legal assistance to redact material can be included in the fees charged.
SECTION 8. Original public documents may not be taken out of the City's custody.
SECTION 9. FEES.
|a.||The City will establish a fee in its annual fee resolution that is reasonably calculated to reimburse the City for the actual cost of making public records available, including locating the requested records, reviewing the records to delete exempt material, supervising a person's inspection of original documents to protect the integrity of the records, summarizing, compiling, or tailoring a record, either in organization of media, to meet the person's request.
The City may charge for search time even it if fails to locate any records responsive to the request or even if the records located are subsequently determined to be exempt from disclosure.
Copies of documents provided by a routine file search of 30 minutes or less will be charged at a copy rate established in the annual fee resolution.
|b.||The City may include a fee established to reimburse for the costs of time spent by the city attorney in reviewing the public records, redacting materials from the public records into exempt and nonexempt records. The City fee may also include the cost of time spent by an attorney for the City in determining the application of the provisions of ORS 192.410 - 192.505.|
|c.||The City may not establish a fee greater than $25 unless the requester is provided with written notification of the estimated amount of the fee and the requestor confirms in writing that he/she wants the City to proceed with making the records available.|
|d.||Prepayment shall be required if the amount of the request is greater than $25. If the actual charges are less than the prepayment, any overpayment shall be refunded.|
SECTION 10. Fee waivers or Reductions
|a.||Routine materials are defined as those items already regularly produced.|
|b.||Copies of public records may be furnished without cost or at a substantial reduction if the City Records Officer determines the waiver is in the public interest because making the record available primarily benefits the general public.|
|c.||The City Administrator will review the waiver or reduction request while also considering the requestor's ability to pay and any financial hardship on the City that might arise from granting the waiver based on the following: (1) whether the waiver or reduction is prohibited by laws, (2) whether the waiver meets the public interest test, because making the record available primarily benefits the general public and (3) whether to grant a fee waiver or reduction.|
|d.||Copies of routine materials personal to a requestor will be furnished without charge except for police reports. Any non-routine materials requested will be charged at the fee set by City Council resolution.|
|e.||Copies of routine materials requested by any Ashland elected official, appointed Commissioner or Committee member will be furnished without charge if the request relates to information needed to act in one's official capacity. Any other materials requested will be charged at the fee set by City Council resolution.|
SECTION 11. The City will annually review the Resolution that adopts Miscellaneous Fees and Charges that includes the amounts and manner of calculating fees that the City charges for responding to requests.
SECTION 12. Copies of this resolution shall be maintained in the Office of the City Recorder.
SECTION 13. This resolution takes effect upon signing by the Mayor.
PASSED and ADOPTED this 18 day of December , 2007:
Barbara Christensen, City Recorder
SIGNED and APPROVED this 19 day of December, 2007:
John W. Morrison, Mayor
Reviewed as to form:
Richard Appicello, Interim City Attorney
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