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Public Records Request Policy

Public Records Request Policy

Authority: 
President
Date enacted or revised: 
Enacted August 2016

Purpose:
 
As a state agency, McNeese State University is a public body and is subject to public records laws of the State of Louisiana, namely R.S. 44:1 et al. The purpose of this policy is to provide information regarding public records requests.
 
Policy:
 
A public record is any document or group of documents which has been used, prepared, processed or retained for use in the performance of any business or function performed under the authority of the State of Louisiana, unless excluded in the Public Records Law (R.S. 44:1 et al) or the Louisiana Constitution. Not all public records contain only public information; some information is confidential. An example of confidential information within a public record is an employment application which includes the applicant’s social security number. The custodian of the record, charged with releasing or protecting it, is the person who determines if the record is public or not. Public records must be retained by the University for at least three years.
 
Anyone 18 years or older may submit a request to view public records to the Office of the President by one of the following methods:
 
Email:                              publicrecords@mcneese.edu
Fax:                                337-475-5012
US Mail:                          Office of the President
                                       McNeese State University
                                       Box 93300
                                       Lake Charles, LA 70609
 
In order to ensure confidential and restricted data is not released, all requests for public records are reviewed by the Office of the President, the requested records data custodian and, if appropriate, legal counsel before responding to the public records request. The Office of the President has three business days within receipt of the request to either: 1) make the public records available for viewing, 2) provide a written response regarding any delay in making the public records available, such as retrieval from off-storage or from an electronic database or system, or 3) provide a written response regarding the legal reason the records are not public.
 
If requested records are deemed public, records are made available for viewing at no cost during business hours. Special permission must be granted to view records in a different place or at a different time. If requested records are in use, the University may withhold production of records for a maximum of three business days. If this is the case, the Office of the President notifies the requester and sets a time for viewing records.
 
If copies of public records are requested, the University will charge 25 cents per page for regular size paper documents and basic computer printouts. Additional fees may be charged for larger paper copies, if additional work is required to extract electronic records from a computer system, and if mailing of copies is requested. Copies of public records will be furnished without charge to indigent Louisiana citizens or when use of copies will be limited to a public purpose (i.e. hearing before governmental regulatory commission).
 
Communication:
 
This policy is communicated through the Academic Advisory Council, Administrative Advisory Council, Senior Staff, and the University Policy Page.