[1993/Opinions/oagheade.htm]

 

OAG 93-65

September 29, 1993

Senator Susan Johns, Chairperson

Program Review and Investigations Committee

Legislative Research Commission

Frankfort, KY 40601

Dear Senator Johns:

You have requested an opinion from the Attorney General on an issue relating to the Kentucky Open Records Act and programs administered by the Kentucky Association of Counties (KACo). Specifically, you ask whether, in light of this Office's holdings in 92-ORD-1232 and 92-ORD-1245, the KACo Reinsurance Trust Program (KRT) and the KACo Unemployment Compensation Self-Insurance Fund (KACo Unemployment Insurance Fund) are public agencies for purposes of the Open Records Act.

In 92-ORD-1232, we held that a number of programs administered by KACo, including the Kentucky Association of Counties All Lines Fund (KALF), the Kentucky Association of Counties Leasing Fund (COLT), the Kentucky Association of Counties Medical Program (KAMP), and the Kentucky Association of Counties Advance Revenue Program (KARP), were public agencies within the meaning of KRS 61.870(1)(k) [1] insofar as they are constituted as interagency bodies of two or more political entities, agencies, or subdivisions of the state formed under the Interlocal Cooperation Agreement Act, codified at KRS 65.210 et seq. In 92-ORD-1245, we held that KACo-KLC Workers Compensation Self Insurance Fund (KACo-KLC), an interagency body of two or more public agencies formed pursuant to KRS 342.350(4), was a public agency within the meaning of KRS 61.878(1)(k). Most recently, we have declared that KACo itself is a public agency. 93-ORD-96. Because it receives at least 25% of its funds from state or local authority, KACo falls within the parameters of KRS 61.878(1)(h), [2] and is therefore subject to the Open Records Act.

We have not had occasion to address the question which you raise: Whether the Open Records Act is applicable to KRT and the KACo Unemployment Insurance Fund? It is the opinion of this Office that both of these entities fall within the parameters of KRS 61.878(1)(k), and must therefore be treated as public agencies for purposes of the Open Records Act.

As you note in your August 30 letter to this Office, KRT was created in 1990 under the Interlocal Cooperation Act as an association of public agencies for the purpose of providing reinsurance to self-insurance and insurance pools providing primary insurance to public agencies. The original signatories to the agreement were Pendleton County and Marshall County. Like KALF, COLT, KARP, and KAMP, KRT is an interagency body of two or more public agencies within the meaning of KRS 61.870(1)(k), and is therefore subject to the Open Records Act.

Similarly, the KACo Unemployment Insurance Fund is a public agency, as defined in KRS 61.870(1)(k), and must comply with the provisions of the Open Records Act in releasing nonexempt public records. The Fund's bylaws indicate that it was formed "for the purpose of allowing eligible government entities located or operating in the Commonwealth of Kentucky to exhibit sufficient financial strength to establish a group account as reimbursing employers pursuant to KRS 341.275, 341.277, and 341.281." Like the KACo-KLC Workers Compensation Self-Insurance Fund, the KACo Unemployment Insurance Fund thus consists of two or more governmental entities which have organized a group account pursuant to KRS 341.281(3). It too is an interagency body of two or more public agencies. By the express terms of KRS 341.281(3) and KRS 61.870(1)(k), the KACo Unemployment Insurance Fund is a public agency, and its records are public records.

Sincerely yours,

CHRIS GORMAN

ATTORNEY GENERAL

Amye B. Majors

Assistant Attorney General

(502) 564-7600

ABM:jgh/1243

cc: Vic Hellard, Director

Legislative Research Commission

Capitol Building

Frankfort, KY 40601

Joe Fiala

Legislative Research Commission

Capitol Building

Frankfort, KY 40601


Footnotes

[1]KRS 61.870(1)(k) defines a public agency as "[a]ny interagency body of two (2) or more public agencies where each public agency is defined in [preceding paragraphs (a) through (j) of this definitional subsection.]"

[2]KRS 61.870(1)(h) defines a public agency as "[a]ny body which derives at least twenty-five percent (25%) of its funds expended by it in the Commonwealth of Kentucky from state or local authority funds."