July 19, 1993




IN RE: Jerri Cockrel/University of Kentucky






This matter comes to the Attorney General on appeal from the actions of the University of Kentucky relative to its duties and obligations under KRS 61.876. Ms. Jerri Cockrel, Extension Specialist for Public Policy in the University's College of Agriculture, complains that the University has violated the Open Records Act by failing to comply with KRS 61.876, which requires public agencies to adopt rules and regulations in conformity with the Act, and to display a copy of those rules in a prominent location accessible to the public. Ms. Cockrel states that she has examined the publicly accessible areas of a number of University Offices accessed by the general public, including the Open Records Office of the Records Custodian at Room 2 of the Administration Building, and that she has found no copies of the rules and regulations posted. She asserts that the University should not be allowed "to improperly conceal from [the] public . . . who access UK offices the policies under which the public can access University records of those offices." She urges the Attorney General to issue a decision consistent with these views.


We are asked to determine if the University of Kentucky violated the Open Records Act by failing to post its rules and regulations explaining its records policy. Assuming the facts presented by Ms. Cockrel to be fair and accurate, we conclude that the University's failure to post its rules and regulations constitutes a technical violation of the Act, and direct the University to comply with KRS 61.876.


In OAG 78-340, this Office held that KRS 61.876 requires that each public agency shall adopt rules pertaining to public records and failure to do so constitutes a technical violation of the Open Records Act. See also 92-ORD-1567. The spirit of the Act mandates the broadest possible dissemination of an agency's rules and regulations, although the letter of the law does not specifically designate where the rules must be posted. We concur with Ms. Cockrel in her view that the rules and regulations must, at a minimum, be posted in the Office of the University's Custodian of Records. The University should immediately review its policy relative to KRS 61.876 to insure conformity with the Open Records Act.


The University of Kentucky may challenge this decision by initiating action in the appropriate circuit court pursuant to KRS 61.880(5) and KRS 61.882.












Distributed to:


Hon. Donald Clapp

Vice President for Administration

and Custodian of Records

University of Kentucky

Administration Building

Lexington, KY 40506


Ms. Jerri Cockrel

Home Economics Extension Program

205 Scovell Hall

University of Kentucky

Lexington, KY 40506-0064