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Office of General Counsel

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Office of General Counsel
Rick Miller
Vice President and General Counsel
Old Main, Room 204
Dept. 3434
1000 E. University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766-4997
Fax: (307) 766-2993

Wyoming Public Records Act


The Legislature of the State of Wyoming enacted the Wyoming Public Records Act (W.S. §16-4-201) in order to provide the public with access to public records, books, and files of state governmental agencies and entities with some exceptions. The University of Wyoming is subject to the provisions of the Wyoming Public Records Act.

The public is not required to show a particular "need" prior to gaining access to state records. Once a request is made for public records, government officials have an obligation to provide the requested records in accordance with the provisions of the Act. The purpose of the Act is to promote disclosure and not secrecy in the workings of government. There are some exceptions under the Act which may be invoked to prevent disclosure of certain records. However, it is best to consult with the Office of General Counsel before withholding any public records.

ARTICLE 2
PUBLIC RECORDS
 
16‑4‑201.  Definitions.
 
(a)  As used in this act:
 
(i)  "Custodian" means the official custodian or any authorized person having personal custody and control of the public records in question;
 
(ii)  "Official custodian" means any officer or employee of the state or any agency, institution or political subdivision thereof, who is responsible for the maintenance, care and keeping of public records, regardless of whether the records are in his actual personal custody and control;
 
(iii)  "Person in interest" means the person who is the subject of a record or any representative designated by the person, except if the subject of the record is under legal disability or is the dependent high school student of his parents, "person in interest" means the parent or duly appointed legal representative;
 
(iv)  "Political subdivision" means every county, city and county, city, incorporated and unincorporated town, school district and special district within the state;
 
(v)  "Public records" when not otherwise specified includes the original and copies of any paper, correspondence, form, book, photograph, photostat, film, microfilm, sound recording, map drawing or other document, regardless of physical form or characteristics that have been made by the state of Wyoming and any counties, municipalities and political subdivisions thereof and by any agencies of the state, counties, municipalities and political subdivisions thereof, or received by them in connection with the transaction of public business, except those privileged or confidential by law;
 
(vi)  Public records shall be classified as follows:
 
(A)  "Official public records" includes all original vouchers, receipts and other documents necessary to isolate and prove the validity of every transaction relating to the receipt, use and disposition of all public property and public income from all sources whatsoever; all agreements and contracts to which the state or any agency or subdivision thereof is a party; all fidelity, surety and performance bonds; all claims filed against the state or any agency or subdivision thereof; all records or documents required by law to be filed with or kept by any agency or the state of Wyoming; and all other documents or records determined by the records committee to be official public records;
 
(B)  "Office files and memoranda" includes all records, correspondence, exhibits, books, booklets, drawings, maps, blank forms, or documents not defined and classified in subparagraph (A) of this subsection as official public records; all duplicate copies of official public records filed with any agency of the state or subdivision thereof; all documents and reports made for the internal administration of the office to which they pertain but not required by law to be filed or kept with the office; and all other documents or records, determined by the records committee to be office files and memoranda.
 
(vii)  "Writings" means all books, papers, maps, photographs, cards, tapes, recordings or other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics;
 
(viii)  "This act" means W.S. 16‑4‑201 through 16‑4‑205.

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