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Wyoming Public Records Act

Office of General Counsel

University of Wyoming Policies and Procedures on Public Records Requests

The Legislature of the State of Wyoming enacted the Wyoming Public Records Act (W.S. §16-4-201 through 16-4-205) in order to provide the public with access to public records, books, and files of state governmental agencies (subject to exceptions). The Public Records Act defines "public records" as "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." The law does not require the University to create or compile a record which does not exist at the time of the request.

Old Main in winter

The purpose of the Act is to promote disclosure and not secrecy in the workings of government. The University of Wyoming is subject to the Wyoming Public Records Act and will fully comply with all the provisions and requirements of the Act. The following document outlines the procedures for requesting public records, including when a fee may be charged related to a public records request.

Procedures for Requesting Public Records

A.  Submitting a request.  Individuals are encouraged to submit their requests in writing.  Individuals should submit their requests as follows:

  1. All requests for Public Records, including athletic agreements, requests from the media, and general records requests: Associate General Counsel, Office of General Counsel at publicrecords@uwyo.edu or call (307) 766-4981.

  2. Requests for student directory information are subject to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Please contact the Office of the Registrar at registrar@uwyo.edu or call (307)766-5272.

  3. Requests for Police Reports: UWPD at http://www.uwyo.edu/uwpd/records/

 

B.  Notification that the request has been received.

The University will notify the Requestor of the acknowledgment of the receipt of the request within seven (7) business days after receiving the request. The notification will include acknowledgment of the request, whether a fee is required, the amount of that fee, and the date by which the University will respond in accordance with the law.

C.  Time period for the University to respond.

  1. Upon receiving a Public Records request, the Designated Public Records Person will work with the department or unit that houses the potentially responsive records to determine the estimated time it will take to compile and review the records, and whether a fee will be charged. Once that is complete, the University will send the notification to the Requestor as described above.

  2. Pursuant to the Wyoming Public Records Act, the University will release any responsive records within thirty (30) calendar days from the date of acknowledged receipt unless good cause exists to prevent the release of responsive records within that time frame.

  3. Good cause includes consideration of whether the records are privileged or confidential by law or whether release of the records impairs or impedes the governmental entity's ability to discharge its other duties, such as complexity and volume of the request and delay in payment of fees.

  4. If good cause exists to prevent the release of records within thirty (30) calendar days, the records will be released on a date that is mutually agreed upon by the University of Wyoming and the Requestor.

  5. If a fee is to be charged, the University will only begin the process of compiling and reviewing the records when the fee has been paid by the Requestor. A delay in payment of the fee may cause a delay in the release of the records.

D.  Denial of requests or withholding of records.

The University Office of General Counsel reviews all records requests. Part of this review includes determining whether any legal grounds for exemption or withholding of records apply. If a request is denied, in whole or in part, the University will include in its written response the reason or reasons for the denial under the Wyoming Public Records Act.

Fees (starting July 1, 2018)

Reasonable production and construction costs for public records requests (Wyoming Public Records Act, Wyoming Statute 16-4-204):

1. $15.50/hour for clerical staff time.
2. $30.00/hour for information technology staff time.
3. $40.00/hour for professional staff time.
4. Actual cost of programming and computer services.

*Note: The requestor will be charged only if the amount of the reasonable production and construction costs exceeds $180.00, and the requestor will be charged only for the amount above $180.00.

Prior to processing the public records request, the Office of General Counsel will determine whether the estimated time to be spent reviewing and responding to the request will cause the reasonable production and construction costs to exceed $180.00. If so, the requestor will receive an invoice with the estimated reasonable production and construction costs of the request. Payment must be received before the request will be processed. 

If the request takes less time than estimated, the requestor will receive a refund for the amount of money that was unused.

If the request takes more time than estimated, the requestor will receive the responsive records to that point, and another invoice with the estimated cost for the completion of the request. Payment must be received before the Office of General Counsel will continue processing the request.

Requestors will not be allowed to avoid the charge by using multiple records requests.

Resources and Questions

UW Standard Administrative Policy and Procedure-Public Records Requests: http://www.uwyo.edu/regs-policies/_files/docs/policies/publicrecordsrequests_sap_7-1-19.pdf

University Fee Book: http://www.uwyo.edu/administration/financial-affairs/feebook/ .

Wyoming Statutes 16-4-201 through 16-4-205: https://www.wyoleg.gov/StateStatutes/StatutesConstitution

If you have any questions related to this policy, contact the University Office of General Counsel at (307) 766-4981.

Contact Us

Office of General Counsel

Tara Evans, General Counsel

Old Main 204

1000 E. University Ave.

Dept. 3434

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-4997

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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