Public Records Requests
Greene County recognizes that openness leads to a better informed citizenry, which leads to better government and better public policy.
In accordance with the Ohio Revised Code 149.011 (G) records are defined as including any document, device, or item, regardless of physical form or characteristic, including an electronic record as defined in section 1306.01 of the Revised Code, created or received by, or coming under the jurisdiction of a public office of the state or its political subdivisions, which serves to document the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the office. Documents in electronic mail format, therefore, are records when their content relates to the business of the office. All records of Greene County in any format are public unless they are exempt from disclosure under the Ohio Revised Code 149.43 (A) (1).
It is the policy of Greene County that records will be organized and maintained so that they are readily available for inspection and copying. Records retention schedules are to be updated as necessary and also made available to the public upon request.
Each request for public records should be evaluated for a response using the following guidelines.
Although no specific language is required to make a request, the requester must at least identify the records requested with sufficient clarity to allow the public office to identify, retrieve, and review the records. If it is not clear what records are being sought, the request should be forwarded to and evaluated by the Records and Information Manager, who will contact the requester for clarification, and should assist the requester in revising the request by informing the requester of the manner in which the office keeps its records.
The requester does not have to put a records request in writing, and does not have to provide his or her identity or the intended use of the requested public record. It is this office’s general policy that this information is not to be requested. However, the records custodian may ask for a written request and may ask for the requester’s identity and/or intended use of the information requested if (1) it would benefit the requester by helping the public office identify, located or deliver the records being sought, and (2) the requester is informed that a written request and the requester’s identity and intended use of the information requested are not required.
In accordance with Ohio Revised Code 149.43 (B), public records are to be available for inspection during regular, posted business hours, with the exception of published holidays. Public records must be made available for inspection promptly. Copies of public records must be made available within a reasonable period of time. “Prompt” and “reasonable” take into account the volume of records requested; the proximity of the location where the records are stored; and the necessity for any legal review of the records requested.
Routine requests for records should be satisfied immediately if feasible to do so. Routine requests include, but are not limited to, meeting minutes (both in draft and final form), budgets, salary information, personnel rosters, etc. If fewer than 20 pages of copies are requested or if the records are readily available in an electronic format that can be e-mailed or downloaded easily, these should be made as quickly as the equipment allows.
When contact information of the records requester is known, requests for public records must be acknowledged in writing by the public office within three business days following the office’s receipt of the request. If a request is voluminous or will require research, the acknowledgment must include the following:
- An estimated length of time required to gather, review and copy (if requested) the records.
- An estimated cost if copies are requested.
- Any items within the request that may be exempt from disclosure.
- Any denial of public records requested must include an explanation, including legal authority. If portions of a record are public and portions are exempt, the exempt portions are redacted and the rest released.
Costs for Public Records
Those seeking public records will be charged only the actual cost of making copies.
The charge for copies is established by Board Resolution or as otherwise mandated by law.
There is no charge for documents e-mailed.
Requesters may ask that documents be mailed to them. They will be charged the actual cost of postage and mailing supplies, in addition to the copying charges.
Ways to Submit a Public Records Request
Greene County Request for Public Records forms can be submitted via the website, email, mail, fax, or dropped off in-person to the appropriate office and/or department:
- Website: Submit an on-line Public Records Request Form
- Fill out the PDF fillable on-line form for Public Records Request and return by email, mail, fax, or dropped off in-person to the appropriate office and/or department.
- Board of County Commissioners, 35 Greene Street, Xenia, Ohio 45385
- Phone: (937) 562-5006
- Fax: (937) 562-5331