Tennessee officials are studying whether to charge for inspecting public records, and the state is seeking public comment.
The Office of Open Records Counsel has been asked by the Tennessee General Assembly to review issues surrounding the inspection of public records. Legislation was introduced in the 2015 Session of the 109th General Assembly that would permit charges for inspecting public records. While a records custodian is permitted to charge for copies of public records, inspection is generally free of charge. The OORC will prepare a report with recommendations on this issue to the General Assembly by January 15, 2016.
The OORC has prepared brief online surveys to help gather input from citizens and government entities. The responses from these surveys will help in the preparation of the final report.
Tennessee citizens can submit a survey by clicking here.
Representatives of government entities can submit a survey by clicking here.
Additionally, the OORC will hold three public hearings, in conjunction with the Advisory Committee on Open Government, to gather additional feedback on five specific questions related to these issues. Tennessee citizens, government entities, and advocacy group representatives are invited to participate by sending written comments to [email protected] and by attending one of the public hearings:
- Tuesday, September 15 (4-6 p.m.) in Knoxville
12 Oaks Executive Park, 5401 Kingston Pike, Building 2, Suite 350
- Wednesday, September 16 (10 a.m.-noon) in Nashville
James K. Polk State Office Building, 505 Deaderick Street, 16th Floor, Video Conference Center
- Thursday, September 17 (3-5 p.m.) in Jackson
Lowell Thomas State Office Building, 225 Martin Luther King Drive, Tower B, Conference Room 1
Additional information and guidelines regarding the public hearings can be found on the OORC website by clicking here.
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