Under the Oklahoma Open Records Act, records of the Town of Jones City (the “City”) offices and departments are open to the public for inspection and copying (for a fee) during regular business hours, with some exceptions. The Open Records Act does not apply to records specifically required by law to be kept confidential.
- What is an Open Records Request?
An Open Records Request is a request made pursuant to the Open Records Act (51 O.S. § 24A.1, et seq.) for a record (see below for what a record is) created by, received by, under the authority of, or coming into the possession of a “public body” or a “public official.” A request must be specific enough to identify with reasonable certainty exactly what document is requested. Requests consisting of open-ended questions do not comply with the Open Records Act and will be denied.
- What is considered a “record”?
The Open Records Act provides a broad definition of “record.” Examples of records include, but are not limited to, data or datasets, files, written messages and communications, audio and video recordings, minutes, proceedings, rules, documents, decisions, opinions, policies, and written materials of any other nature required by law to be maintained, regardless of physical form. However, there are several types of records that are exempt from the Open Records Act, for example: records protected by state evidentiary privilege; records of what transpired during meetings of a public body lawfully closed to the public such as executive sessions; personnel records; certain educational records including student records; and more. See, 51 O.S. § 24A.5, § 24A.7, § 24A.9, § 24A.10 – 24A.17.
- Who can make an open records request?
According to the Oklahoma Open Records Act, anyone may request public records and no statement of purpose is required. However, if the purpose is commercial, fees will be charged for document collection.
- How do I file an Open Records Request with the City of Jones?
To provide prompt, reasonable access to records, they must be requested through an Open Records Request form, found at the City Clerk’s office.
- Is there a fee to obtain records?
The following fees are charged for copies: Per sheet/per side: $ .25 per copied page (per side), and $1.00 per copied page (per side) for a certified copy (if one is available). These fees apply to records having the dimensions of 8 ½ X 14 inches or smaller. See 51 O.S. §24A.5
If the record requested is for a commercial purpose or if it would disrupt essential city functions to produce it (for example, it must be located in storage), then the City may charge a fee for searching for the record. Publication of a record by news media is not a commercial purpose and charges to news media are only for the actual copies.