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This content is meant to answer basic questions about public records and how to handle public records requests. Questions? Contact OGC public records.
Arizona Public Records Law is a series of statutes (and court cases that interpret those statutes) that describe public access to government information and that make government agencies (including ASU) accountable to the public by granting a right of access to records. The statutes are available at: A.R.S. § 39-101 to -161 and A.R.S. § 15-1640.
This law applies to all requests to inspect or copy public records pursuant to the Arizona Public Records Law and related applicable authorities.
The term "Public Records" is not defined by statute, but has been interpreted to include all records made or received by public employees in performance of their jobs, including records intended to disseminate information to the public or to create a record of official transactions or government expenditures. In other words, generally a record made by a public officer and kept under a duty of law to serve as a memorial of an official transaction.
Any person is entitled to inspect (during regular office hours) public information (in other words, any public records in the custody of any ASU employee) or be furnished copies, printouts, or photographs of any public record, subject to applicable legal requirements and this policy statement.
Requests can be made orally, in person, or in writing, but ASU encourages requestors to use its public portal at ASU Next Request. Users who sign up for a free account on the Next Request portal can make requests, track their status, pay any charges, and download records all in one location. Alternatively, requests can be directed to the Office of General Counsel at email@example.com. When making a request, please include as much detail as possible, such as the date range of the request, what specific public record or information is being requested, and any other supporting details to assist with identifying the requested records.
Yes. The following exceptions are construed narrowly.
Note: ASU employees are encouraged to consult with the Office of General Counsel before assuming that any of these exceptions apply.
Except as provided for in ASU SPP 1101 and ACD 811, personnel records shall be treated as exempt from the Arizona Public Records Law.
After a request is made, and before the records are produced, the custodian of the records must determine:
If copies or printouts are requested, the public records must remain in the possession, custody and control of the university employee who serves as custodian of such records.
All requests will be administered within a reasonable period of time in a manner which does not cause disruption of public business. What is a reasonable time and manner must in all cases be a factual determination depending upon the accessibility of the material.
Note: Upon receiving a Public Records Request from a member of the media, contact ASU Media Relations. In other situations, contact OGC.
Once the records are made ready:
Yes, ASU can charge to produce copies of records. Furthermore, if the requestor asks for copies to be mailed, ASU may require payment in advance for any copying and postal charges.
The ASU employee receiving the request will need to ask whether the records are sought for a non-commercial use or a commercial use which will affect the cost to be charged. The Legislature has distinguished between the fees the university may require for commercial and non-commercial requests for copies of public records.
Note: If the university is producing documents pursuant to a subpoena in a civil litigation matter to which the university is not a party, the fee is prescribed by state statute. Also, in this connection, the Office of General Counsel must review and approve disclosure of information required by lawfully issued administrative summons or judicial orders, including a search warrant or subpoena.
For a request of more than 25 pages (8½ by 11 inches) in any calendar month the Office of General Counsel will charge a copying fee of 20¢ per page (per side), irrespective of whether they are produced in hard copy or electronic format, plus $10.00 per hour for staff time. The charge for non-standard size documents will be the actual cost of reproduction plus staff time at $10.00 per hour. Staff time will be charged pro rata on quarter hour increments. [Note: the University may not charge for the cost of searching for the records.]
Persons requesting copies of public records for a commercial purpose must provide a certified statement setting forth the commercial purpose for which the records are requested. Upon being furnished a signed certification, the university employee who serves as custodian of the requested records will assess a charge which includes the following:
"Commercial Purpose" means the use of public records for the purpose of producing a document containing all or part of the copy, printout or photograph for sale. It also includes the obtaining of names and addresses from public records for the purpose of solicitation or the sale of such name and addresses to another for the purpose of solicitation or for any purpose in which the requester can reasonably anticipate the receipt of monetary gain from the direct or indirect use of such public record. Commercial purpose does not mean the use of a public record as evidence or as research for evidence in an action in a judicial or quasi-judicial body of the State of Arizona, a political subdivision of the State, or the University.
The law requires all ASU employees to maintain all records reasonably necessary or appropriate to maintain an accurate record of their official activities.
When ASU receives a Public Records Request, everyone is required to take steps to preserve the requested records.
Arizona Revised Statutes, § 39-121 et seq. and 15-141
ABOR 6-912, Access to or Disclosure of Personnel Records or Information
ABOR 3-803, Bidding and Source Selection Procedures
ACD 811, Access to and Release of Official Personnel Records Information
SSM 107-01, Release of Student Information
SPP 1101, Personnel Records
PUR 103, Confidential Information
RSP 104, Disclosure of Proposal-Award Information