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Colorado Open Records Act Policy

The Colorado Open Records Act requires that all public records must be open for inspection by any person at reasonable times, unless specifically excepted by law.

Public Records are all writings made, maintained, or kept by a District for (1) use in the exercise of functions that are required or authorized by law, or (2) that involve the receipt or expenditure of public funds.

1.1 Policy

A. It shall be the policy of the District to make all public records available for public inspection at reasonable times in accordance with the Colorado Open Records Act, Sections 24-72-201, et seq., C.R.S. (CORA).

B. Subject to the limitations imposed by the Colorado Open Records Act, public records are all documents that exist on a piece of paper; this also includes recorded media and electronic mail communications (E-mails).

C. The purpose for this policy is to set forth a general procedure for providing consistent, prompt and equitable service to those requesting access to public records and to establish reasonable and consistent fees for providing documents and so that the District can recover a portion of the cost of staff time for responding to open records requests.

1.2 Procedures

A. The Office Manager is the official custodian of all records that are maintained by the District.

B. Citizens may make informal requests to the District employees for copies of specific identifiable and releasable public records that are readily available in the custody and control of various employees. Generally, the employee will make reasonable efforts to fill requests for those records as soon as reasonably practical.

C. Any request that cannot be filled immediately shall be made in writing to the Office Manager who will, in consultation with the District’s attorney, review the records request for confidentiality issues prior to their release.

D. If the written request cannot be filled immediately or the records are otherwise not readily available at the time the request is made, the Office Manager will set a date and time for records inspection that is within three working days of the date on which the request was made. Such period may be extended if extenuating circumstance exist (Section 24-72-203(3)(b), C.R.S), but the total time including the extension period will not exceed ten working days from the date on which the request is made.

E. The District may respond to requests for access to public records stored electronically and in computer databases by providing, upon written request, a copy, disk or printout, but not by allowing access to a computer terminal or the use of a private terminal connected to the District’s computer system. Before releasing any electronic data, the Office Manager will determine that the electronic data is no longer considered a “work-in-progress” subject to the deliberative process privilege or work product privilege and therefore eligible for release.

1.3 Charges

A. There shall be a charge for any copies, printouts, or photographs requested. The cost for a standard size photocopy will be $0.25 per copy. The charge for non standard copies other than photocopies shall be the actual cost to have the non standard copies made.

B. Method of transmission shall be:
1. Requester retrieves documents from District office;
2. Requester asks for documents to be mailed to an address;
3. Requester asks for shipment of documents via UPS or FedEx.
There shall be a charge for postage to mail any request at the rate set by the United States Postal Service, or by UPS or FedEx.

C. There will also be an hourly fee for:
1. Research and retrieval for the requested documents;
2. To otherwise identify and segregate the documents to make them appropriate for release, for instance, to redact documents to excise privileged material.

B. A time-log will be kept for any time in excess of one hour. The standard charge for a District employee to perform this research shall be $30.00 per hour. Prior to beginning the project, the Office Manager shall inform the person requesting the records of the hourly fee to perform the work, and an estimate of the number of hours which will be required. Upon payment of the amount estimated and a written request, the District shall begin processing the request. Person making a subsequent request for the same record shall be charged the same fee. The fee of $30.00 will automatically adjust for inflation pursuant to statute, the statute provided that Director of Legislative Council will adjust maximum fee for inflation every five years starting in 2019.

D. The District will not start the research and retrieval of requested documents until the estimated amount of research, retrieve, copy and postage if applicable is paid in full to the District. Upon receipt of payment the District will transmit the public records within 3 business days.

E. If an extenuating circumstance exists, an extension may be allowed for up to 10 working days. Extenuating circumstances exist if:
1. The request is overly broad, or
2. The request is for a large volume of records.

F. Access to certain records may be denied in accordance with the provisions of the CORA. Inspection of the following public records may not be permitted if, upon consultation with the Districts’ Legal Counsel it is determined that the document is privileged or prohibited from disclosure:

1. If release is prohibited under any state statute, federal statute, or regulation issued there under or is prohibited by rules promulgated by the order of any court;
2. Personnel files, including social security numbers, home addresses and telephone numbers, and medical, psychological, and sociological data;
3. Scholastic achievement data;
4. Test questions and scoring keys;
5. Sexual harassment investigations;
6. Work product and drafts;
7. Letters of reference;
8. Identities of applicants, except finalists, for the position of manager;
9. Investigatory files compiled for any law enforcement purpose;
10. Addresses, telephone numbers, or financial data of past or present users of public utilities, public facilities or recreational or cultural services;
11. Real estate appraisals until the time that title passes to the District;
12. Documents pertaining to Homeland Security Act; and
13. Attorney/client privileged material