PUBLIC ENTITY MUST COMMUNICATE REASON FOR DELAY

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September 3, 2021


Request: Did the Office of the Governor violate the open records laws by failing to produce records within a reasonable time, or failing to provide all responsive records? 

Conclusion:  In November 2020, the Office of the Governor received a request for records relating to a specific matter. The Governor’s Office provided the records three weeks later. According to the Governor’s Office, it had experienced a significant increase in the number of open record requests since the start of the pandemic, adding to the workload of all employees of the office. As a result, the Governor’s office implemented a process to respond to record requests in the order received. Given the large volume of requests during an unprecedented time, it was reasonable to implement a process to answer requests in the order received. However, there was no attempt made to explain to the requester that there would be a delay or the reason for the delay. Therefore, the Governor’s office did not provide records within a reasonable time.

Opinion 2021-O-09

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