Unified Government Clerk's Office
Freedom of Information Officer
Bridgette D. Cobbins, County Clerk
701 N 7th St., Suite 323
Phone: 913-573-5260 or 913-573-8039
Office Hours: Monday thru Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
The Unified Government Records Management Department assists departments in effectively managing UG records throughout their life cycle, from creation to ultimate destruction or archival retention. This process allows the diverse needs of citizens, policy makers, management, and administrators to be met through access, preservation, and disposal.
A record is considered to be recorded information, regardless of medium or characteristics, made or received by the Unified Government that is useful in the operation of the organization. “Government Records” means all volumes, documents, reports, maps, drawings, charts, indexes, plans, memoranda, sound recordings, microfilms, photographic records and other data, information and documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, storage media or condition of use, made or perceived…in…transaction of official business ( K.S.A. 45-402(d)).
State “retention and disposition” schedules list how long we must retain each grouping of like records (a “records series”). Schedules are mandatory for counties, though a county may seek exceptions or approval of its own replacements.
Most records maintained by local government are open to the public for purchase. The first five pages are free, and each additional page is $.25 per page. Additional charges for staff time, faxes, and searches will be rendered. The Unified Government Clerk's Office requires advance payment if a citizen wishes to obtain the information through the mail.
Ordinances, resolutions, minutes from open meetings, salaries of public officials, and budgets are the most commonly requested records. However, the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) does limit certain information.
These exceptions include but are not limited to:
- Personal information about employees
- Medical treatment records
- Records protected by the attorney-client privilege
- Records closed by rules of evidence
- Records containing personal information compiled for Census purposes
- Notes and preliminary drafts
- Criminal investigations
The complete listing of exceptions can be found under K.S.A. 45-221.
You can request a record by submitting the certification and request for records forms via U.S. postal service. Most records will be produced within three business days from the time the request is received. If the request is denied, you will receive a written explanation for the delay or denial. Although every attempt will be made to provide the information requested, it is not always possible to fulfill the request. There are a number of reasons that a request may be denied:
- The specific record that was requested does not exist
- The request was unclear and should be resubmitted with more detail
- The record that was requested is closed to protect an important privacy interest
The Kansas Open Records Act governs most records maintained by: cities, counties, school districts, state agencies and other public entities. For a complete copy of the Kansas Open Records Act go to www.ink.org/public/legislative, then click on the “Kansas Statutes” icon. The Kansas Open Records Act begins at K.S.A. 45-215.