POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR SECURING PUBLIC RECORDS OF THE ASPEN CONSOLIDATED SANITATION DISTRICT
The Aspen Consolidated Sanitation District has established the following Policies and Procedures pursuant to the Colorado Open Records Act (“CORA”), codified at C.R.S. Section 24-72-201, as amended, to facilitate transparency of the District’s operations and conduct of business, to the extent permitted by law.
Any and all persons seeking to review records of the District, are hereby advised, that while many records maintained by the District are considered “public records,” several categories of District records are, by CORA, considered off-limits and not subject to public disclosure.
The District Board of Directors has designated a Custodian of Records to handle all inquiries for review, research and copying of those records eligible for public disclosure, as well as the cost to all persons for these services.
The Policies and Procedures for requesting records is as follows:
1. If any person desires to secure copies of public records of the Aspen Consolidated Sanitation District, such person (“Requesting Party”) may write to or appear in the District office to request review of such records. A Requesting Party will then need to fill out the District’s “Request for Records” form, setting forth with specificity, the type of record sought. The District’s Custodian of Records will then review the request and determine if the records sought are “public records” of which inspection is allowed. If so, then the requested records will be provided for review in the District offices, with the Custodian observing to ensure such records are not removed from the files, added to or changed. If the Requesting Party is asking for specific, readily-available records (minutes of past Board meetings or specific contracts), then the Custodian can make copies of such records and provide same to the Requesting Party. If copies of specifically-designated records are requested, the Custodian will advise the Requesting Party of the charge for copies and the District’s general requirement of payment in advance for copies, at the rate of $.25 per page.
2. If the records requested are not immediately available or the Custodian is required to perform research in order to locate the requested records, the first hour of the Custodian’s research time, will be provided at no cost to the Requesting Party. For all time in excess of one hour of research time, the Requesting Party will be billed at the rate of $30.00 per hour for each hour or fraction thereof, with a minimum of one-quarter hour.
3. Please note: the only persons who are entitled to receive records from personnel files are those persons about whom the file is maintained and not some other person representing that party, unless that representative presents a Records Release form signed by the party requesting records from his or her personnel file!
4. When a Requesting Party fills out the Request form, it must be as specific as possible. The Custodian will review the Request and ensure it is understood what records are requested. If necessary, the Custodian will ask for clarification and may ask for additional time to respond to such Request, if there is any question as to whether access to the requested records may be restricted. For example, certain files may have personnel information in them which is not subject to disclosure. In addition, a file may have a memo from the District’s attorney which is subject to attorney/client privilege. Those items are not considered “public records” open to review.
5. If the Request is for record review, the Requesting Party will be contacted and a mutually-convenient time for review of the specifically-identified records will be arranged. Using the Request form, the appointment date and the individual seeking review, will be noted. Generally, the response time for such review is three (3) “working days,” which means business days, not weekends.
6. If records are not yet available (minutes have not yet been prepared and adopted, or files may be off-site or archived or otherwise not readily available), then the Custodian may have up to seven (7) working days in order to allow access for review or provide copies. The Custodian will notify the Requesting Party of the reason for delay.
7. When the Requesting Party appears for review and inspection, the individual reviewing the records will remain under observation to ensure the District records are not tampered with. Removal of the file or any records in it, is not allowed. Records will not be allowed to be taken to another room or the restroom. If the Requesting Party asks for copies of such records after reviewing same, the Requesting Party shall identify the exact records sought and the total number of pages. The Custodian will ask for payment in advance for copies of such records. If advance payment is impractical, the copies will be made and held until payment is received.
8. If for some reason the Requesting Party asks for records which are subject to continuing confidentiality as a matter of law (for example: personnel records, records relating to medical treatment or medical response or attorney/client memos), such requests for access to those records will be denied as a matter of law, with the reason for such denial set forth on the Request form or in a letter from legal counsel for the District.