Chapter 5: Personnel05:03:03 Release of Information, Inspecting, and Copying Public Records
The purpose of the policy is to establish uniform procedures for handling requests under Tennessee's Open Records Law.
Public Records are all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, microfilms, electronic data processing files and output, films, sound recording, or other material regardless of physical form or characteristics made or received in connection with the transaction of official Northeast State Community College business.
Inspection of Public Records
Except for confidential public records, public records will be open for inspection by citizens of Tennessee in the office of records during business hours. Questions regarding records should be directed to the Tennessee Board of Regents office of Legal Counsel. Persons requesting to inspect records must show identification of Tennessee citizenship. TCA §10-7-504(f) treats as confidential the following information: home telephone numbers and personal cell phone numbers; bank account information; social security number; driver’s license information except where driving or operating a vehicle is part of the employee’s job description or job duties or incidental to the performance of his/her job; residential information, including the street address, city, state, and zip code for any state employee; and the same information of immediate family members or household members. This information must be redacted wherever possible, but access to otherwise public information shall not be limited or denied because a record contains confidential information. Further, this information is available to law enforcement agencies, courts, or other governmental agencies performing official functions.
Request to inspect records must be for a specific record. Northeast State Community College is not required to create records or compile information. If the record is unavailable for some reason, i.e., filed in the archives, being used for official business, etc., then the person requesting the record shall be advised when to return to inspect the record. All efforts will be made to provide the record(s) within a reasonable period of time.
Custody of the record is not to be relinquished. The person requesting to inspect the record must do so in the presence of the custodian of the record or an appropriate designee. If it is not convenient for the record to be shown to the person because of present work requirement, then the person requesting to inspect the record shall be advised when to return to inspect the record. All efforts will be made to make available the record(s) within a reasonable period of time.
The TBR office of Legal Counsel and the President of Northeast State Community College should always be advised when records are requested to be inspected in order that those offices may assist in answering any questions and coordinate release of any additional information to ensure understanding of the record.
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Revision History: June 2009; Edited Feb. 2020