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County considering adopting public records policy by July 1
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Warren County commissioners are considering a measure to set a public records policy for the county by July 1.
The county Policy and Personnel Committee met to consider a resolution to adopt a public records policy as required by the state.
Tennessee Code Annotated requires the Office of Open Records Counsel to establish a model public records policy by July 1.
“The committee has to approve this resolution and then it will go to the full court,” said Commissioner Ken Martin. “The state’s form, as far as I know, is sufficient. I didn’t see any need to change it.”
The state’s public records request has spaces for the requestor’s name, if inspect only or copies of the records are being requested, an area where a detailed description of the record(s) being requested to enable a government entity to identify the specific records sought, etc.
TCA policy, among other items, allows the county to set a schedule of reasonable charges that a records custodian may use as a guideline to charge a citizen requesting copies of public records. If costs for copies are assessed, the requestor has a right to receive an estimate. Or, if they choose, they can also waive the right to an estimate and agree to pay copying and duplications costs.
Tennessee Public Records Act does not permit fees for inspection only.
The Office of Open Records Counsel serves citizens, media, and local government entities as a recourse for issues related to Tennessee’s public records and open meetings laws, but it does not serve as a clearinghouse for all public records requests and does not make public record requests on behalf of others.
Policy and Personnel Committee members unanimously approved the resolution. It will be sent for full Warren County Commission consideration May 15.