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August 23, 2017

The Foster County Water Resource Board received a request for copies of minutes for any meetings during a certain time period where there was discussion of a specific topic. The board waited until its next meeting before directing the board’s part-time secretary to search for records. A public entity’s response to a record request cannot be extended until the next meeting simply to enable the governing body to give permission to release the records. The Board’s delay violated the law.

Following the meeting, the board’s secretary searched but could not find any minutes where the specified topic was discussed. Rather than simply notify the requester that there were no records, the secretary copied all meeting minutes during the identified time period and sent them to the requester several weeks after the request. Although this office appreciates that the board’s secretary was trying to be helpful, the delay in responding to the request violated the law. 2017-O-06

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