Kansas Open Records Act

The Importance of Open Records

The ability to access records concerning activities of public agencies is essential for the transparency of government and the ability for each individual to understand how the government is currently functioning. With this understanding, individuals are adequately informed to properly engage in our democratic process.

Available Records

Most records maintained by public entities are open for inspection by the public. Common types of records requested include

  • Resolutions
  • Minutes from open meetings
  • Public official salaries
  • Budgets

Public entities subject to the Kansas Open Records Act include:

  • Cities
  • Counties
  • School Districts
  • State Agencies
  • Any other state or political subdivision, or any office or agency receiving or expending and supported in whole or in part by public funds

Requesting a Record

Each public entity is different, but the process for requesting a public record from public agencies requires the same general steps:

  1. Communicate with the records custodian of the public entity to determine if the record is available. A list of state agencies is available online
  2. Personal identification and a written request to the records custodian may be required, along with certification that the public record will not be used for impermissible purposes. Otherwise, a specific form is not required.
  3. Most records will be produced, but if a request is denied, a written explanation for the denial is required. If a record request is accepted, public agencies may require their attendance during the record inspection and copying.
  4. A response should be produced within three business days from the time the request is received. Public agencies may charge reasonable fees for staff time and materials required to provide access to records.
  5. For more information, please review the Kansas Attorney General's FAQ to the Kansas Open Records Act. Each public entity will also have a Freedom of Information Officer who can help you obtain records.

Records Not Available for Public Inspection

There are exceptions to the Kansas Open Records Act for records with information which is private in nature, including:

  • Personnel information
  • Medical records
  • Records subject to attorney-client privilege
  • Other exceptions listed in K.S.A. 45-221

Denied Requests

Requests for records may be denied if:

  • The record does not exist
  • The request is unreasonably burdensome
  • The record meets an exception under the law