NOT TO BE PUBLISHED
April 29, 1993
IN RE: David C.L. Bauer/Allen County Fiscal Court
OPEN RECORDS DECISION
This matter comes to the Attorney General on appeal from the actions of the Allen County Fiscal Court relative to Ms. Robyn L. Minor's April 13, 1993, request to inspect certain records in the Fiscal Court's custody. Those records are described generally as financial records of the Allen County War Memorial Hospital, a county-owned facility. Ms. Minor is a regional reporter for the Bowling Green Daily News, and her request was made under the Open Records Law.
On behalf of the Daily News, Mr. David C. L. Bauer, City Editor, submitted an appeal to the Attorney General. He indicated that as of April 21, 1993, the Allen County Fiscal Court had not responded to Ms. Minor's request. It is his belief that the Fiscal Court is attempting to impede access to the records "in an effort to push through a transfer of assets for the hospital without making public details of the transfer that would affect Allen County residents."
We are asked to determine if the Allen County Fiscal Court violated the Open Records Act by failing to respond to Ms. Minor's request. For the reasons set forth below, we conclude that the Fiscal Court's actions constitute a violation of the Act.
KRS 61.880(1) sets forth procedural guidelines for agency response to an open records request. That statute provides:
Each public agency, upon any request for records made under KRS 61.870 to 61.884, shall determine within three (3) days, excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, after the receipt of any such request whether to comply with the request and shall notify in writing the person making the request, within the three (3) day period, of its decision. An agency response denying, in whole or in part, inspection of any record shall include a statement of the specific exception authorizing the withholding of the record and a brief explanation of how the exception applies to the record withheld. The response shall be issued by the official custodian or under his authority, and its shall constitute final action.
Ms. Minor first submitted a request for records on April 13, 1993. To date, the Allen County Fiscal Court has failed to respond. Well over a week has elapsed since the date of her initial request.
The Allen County Fiscal Court violated the Open Records Act to the extent that it failed to advise Ms. Minor, in writing, and within three working days of her request, whether it intended to honor her request. The Allen County Fiscal Court should immediately issue a written response to Ms. Minor.
The Allen County Fiscal Court may challenge this decision by initiating action in the appropriate circuit court pursuant to KRS 61.880(5) and KRS 61.882.
AMYE B. MAJORS
ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL
Hon. Bill Minix
Allen County Judge/Executive
P. O. Box 115
Scottsville, KY 42164
Mr. David C.L. Bauer
Bowling Green Daily News
P. O. Box 90012
Bowling Green, KY 42102-9012