Public Records (Procedure 1.1600)
|Authority:||1001.64, F.S. and 1001.65, F.S.|
|Date of Review:||---|
- Public Records Requests
- The Office of Legal Affairs is responsible for administering this procedure. For purposes of this Procedure, the Office of Legal Affairs shall make the final determination of whether a record constitutes a public record under Florida law, or whether any portion of a public record is confidential and/or exempt under Florida law.
- Employees are reminded that there is no particular or required format for a public records request. Public records requests may be made in writing or orally. An employee receiving a request for public records may ask that the requestor put their request in writing for the sake of clarity but may not require it. A request cannot be denied because the requestor refused to identify themselves. An employee should ask for contact information from a requestor, including a name and phone number or e-mail address, to allow for communication regarding the request, but cannot require such information, even if the requestor’s refusal will make handling of the request difficult. A requestor does not have to articulate or prove a "legitimate" need for a public record to be entitled to inspect it. A request cannot be refused because the requestor does not explain the reason for the request or provides a reason that the employee disagrees with or does not like.
- Any employee who receives a public records request shall immediately notify the Office of Legal Affairs of the request. The employee shall provide the Office of Legal Affairs with a description of the request, and (if available) the name of the requestor, the contact information of the requestor, and any written copy of the request itself or notes taken memorializing the request.
- The Office of Legal Affairs shall promptly acknowledge all requests to inspect or copy public records, shall coordinate the public records inspection process with the applicable employee, and help employees ensure a good faith response to requests.
- If the requestor has requested photocopies of the documents, the College shall charge the requestor fees as provided by law.
- If retrieving, reviewing, compiling, redacting, or photocopying the public records requires extensive use of information technology resources or clerical and/or supervisory assistance, the College shall assess, in addition to the actual cost of duplication, a special service charge, which shall be reasonable and shall be based on the hourly wage costs of the personnel actually involved in gathering and duplicating the records and/or any other actual costs.
- For purposes of this procedure, “extensive use” means more than thirty minutes’ worth of time per request.
- If extensive use of College information technology resources or clerical and/or supervisory assistance is required, the College shall prepare a good faith estimate of the associated charges. In preparing an estimate involving clerical and/or supervisory assistance, the College shall, where practicable, use staff with the lowest hourly rate capable of doing the work needed to comply with the request.
- An estimate of the charges will be given to the requestor prior to responding to the request. The College shall require a deposit of fifty percent of the estimated total charges prior to processing the request.
- In the event that the deposit exceeds the costs actually incurred by the College, the College shall refund any remaining deposit funds to the requestor. A refund shall also refund any deposit funds if a request is cancelled before any work is performed.
- The College shall wait until funds have cleared before employees begin processing the request or releasing records to a requestor.
- The College shall require payment of all such costs before producing the requested documents. The College may refuse to produce additional records for a requestor if the fees for a previous request for records have not been paid by the requestor.
- Public Records Disposal
- All public records must be retained for a minimum period of time that varies depending on the nature of the documents. Applicable retention periods can be found in the retention schedules published by the Florida Department of State, Division of Library and Information Services.
- Once the record copy of a public record has been maintained for the applicable retention period, College staff may begin the records disposition process by filling out the applicable records disposition form. The Office of Legal Affairs maintains these forms and shall provide access to the form upon request or by electronic means designed to provide wide accessibility. Questions about how to properly complete the form shall be directed to the Office of Legal Affairs.
- The records disposition form requires the signature of an “administrator/supervisor.” For purposes of records disposition, this “administrator/supervisor” must be
- The President of the College; or
- A College employee classified as an “administrator” on the current Non-Bargaining Unit Salary Schedule (i.e. pay grades A01-A06) who is in the applicable employee’s reporting structure.
- Prior to disposing of records, the employee shall complete all applicable sections of the records disposition form and send the form to the Office of Legal Affairs for review and approval. No records may be disposed of prior to receiving the signed records disposition form from the Office of Legal Affairs.
- Records must be disposed of in a manner that protects the confidentiality of any information contained therein, such as social security numbers, financial information, or information protected by law such as HIPAA and FERPA.
- Once the records have been destroyed and their method of destruction noted on the records disposition form, the custodian and a witness shall sign the form and return it to the Office of Legal Affairs.
|Recommended by:||Executive Team/CAC||Date||03/16/2021|
|Signed by:||President, Georgia L. Lorenz||Date||3/25/2021|