NOT TO BE PUBLISHED
August 3, 1993
IN RE: Robert Sisco/Pike County Board of Education
OPEN RECORDS DECISION
This matter comes to the Attorney General on appeal from the actions of the Pike County Board of Education relative to Mr. Robert Sisco's May 4, 1993, and June 14, 1993, request to inspect and copy certain records in the Board's custody. Those records are identified as:
1. Amount of restitution to date by employees of Pike County Board of Education that has been made in regard to credit card use or misuse.
2. Date of repayments (restitutions).
3. Names of those who made the repayments.
4. The reasons (purchase) for repayment. What was purchased.
Mr. Sisco indicates that as of the date of his appeal, July 14, 1993, he had received no response to his requests. In closing, he notes that the Board has also ignored his request for the addresses of the members of the Teacher Selection Screening Committee.
We are asked to determine if the Pike County Board of Education violated the Open Records Act by failing to respond to Mr. Sisco's requests. For the reasons set forth below, and assuming the facts to have been fairly and accurately
presented by Mr. Sisco, we conclude that the Board's actions constituted a procedural 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 it shall constitute final action.
Mr. Sisco submitted the first of his open records requests on May 4, 1993. To date, the Board has failed to formally respond. Thus, nearly three months have elapsed since the date of his initial request.
The Pike County Board of Education violated the Open Records Act to the extent that it failed to advise Mr. Sisco, in writing, and within three days of his requests, whether the Board intended to honor his requests. The Board should immediately notify Mr. Sisco in writing whether it intends to honor his request for records reflecting restitution payments as well as the addresses of the members of the Teacher Selection Screening Committee.
It is our understanding that there has been a change in leadership on the Pike County Board of Education since Mr. Sisco's requests were submitted. We urge the new chairperson of the Board to carefully review the cited provisions to insure that future responses conform to the Open Records Law, and to gain an appreciation of the Board's duties and obligations under the Law.
The Pike County Board of Education 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
Ms. Karen Sue Ratliff, Chairperson
Pike County Board of Education
P. O. Box 3097
Pikeville, KY 41502
Mr. Robert Sisco
104 Thompson Branch
Pikeville, KY 41501