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Legislative Changes In Public Records Requests

by | Jul 28, 2017 | Business And Corporate Law

How Changes in the Laws will impact you

The next time you submit a public records request, you may notice something different. On July 23, 2017, two new House Bills went into effect. Below are highlights of the new legislation.

House Bill 1595 —

Changes include:

Public Records Charges

  • Electronic Records —  Agencies are now authorized to charge for providing copies of electronically produced records.
  • Custom Service Charge — Agencies may now assess a customized service charge for records requests that require the preparation of data compilations, or customized electronic access services, that are not used by the agency for other purposes. This fee is in addition to the authorized copying costs, and may include reimbursement for the actual costs of providing records.

Excessive Requests

  • Agencies may now deny frequent, automatically generated (bot) requests for public records that would interfere with the other essential functions of the agency.
  • Agencies may consider requests for all or substantially all agency records ‘invalid’ under the Public Records Act.

Additional details of House Bill 1595, including the costs that can be assessed for public records requests can be found here.

House Bill 1594 —

House Bill 1594 will create a grant program to help local governments, particularly smaller agencies, pay for training to better manage public records. It will also allow the Attorney General’s office to assist local governments in complying with requests, and will begin a study to explore creation of a statewide online portal for public records access.

Additional details of House Bill 1594 can be found here.