Council Policy 2-6 Release of Public Records

PURPOSE: To establish procedures for release of public records to elected officials.


BACKGROUND: Section 2-5 of the Lawton City Charter provides that, except for the purpose of investigation, the mayor, the council, and its members shall deal with the administrative service solely through the City Manager. The purpose of the Oklahoma Open Records Act is to ensure and facilitate the publics right of access to and review of government records so they may efficiently and intelligently exercise their inherent political power. Accordingly, the Act allows citizens to view and copy certain public records except for those records that are not available for public viewing and/or copying. The Oklahoma legislature has recognized that the Act does not impose any additional recordkeeping requirements on public bodies or public officials in order to afford citizens their rights of access to governmental records. Consistent with the provisions of the Lawton City Charter and the Act, the Council of the City of Lawton, Oklahoma, proclaims that public records which may be made available to the mayor and councilmembers in the course of their personal or informational inquiry must be limited to those records that are open and available to the citizens.



PROCEDURE: It is the policy of the Council of the City of Lawton, Oklahoma, that requests from the mayor and councilmembers for certain reports be dealt with in the following manner:


1) Requests for reports will be made to the city manager. Reports provided to the mayor or any councilmember will be made available to all members.


2) Reports that are readily available will be provided as soon as time permits.


3) Requests for reports that the city manager determines would require computer reprogramming, lengthy reports, voluminous copying or large numbers of man-hours needed to produce the desired reports requested will be referred for consideration by the council as a whole prior to work being done on the request. Should council determine that it is not appropriate for staff to fulfill the request, the member making the request will be given access to the raw data that would have been used to fulfill the request.


4) Any report that is not considered public records under the Act will not be provided to the mayor or council other than under attorney-client privilege relationship or in executive session as may be legally permissible. Such reports will be provided only to the council as a whole.


5) Public records on file in the office of the city clerk may be requested from the city clerk and will follow the policy set forth above.


REFERENCES: Section 2-5, City Charger; 51 O.S. §24a.1 et seq.


EFFECTIVE DATE: This Policy shall become effective on January 1, 1997.



DEPARTMENT: City Attorney







Added, 12/17/1996