Did You Know?

How much do you know about the Kansas Open Meetings and Open Records Acts? The following true/false quiz tests your knowledge about these two important Kansas Acts (K.S.A. 75-4317 et seq. and K.S.A. 45-215 et seq.). The Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government believes what you don’t know can hurt you when it comes to open meetings and open records in our state.

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* 1. In recognition of the fact that a representative government is dependent upon an informed electorate, it is declared to be the policy of this state that meetings for the conduct of governmental affairs and the transaction of governmental business be open to the public.

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* 2. Non-profit organizations are always subject to the KOMA.

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* 3. Although a public body may reach consensus in executive session, binding action must occur in open session.

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* 4. If members of a public body made a binding decision at a meeting that violates KOMA, the state Attorney General has the authority to bring an action within 21 days in the district court in the county in which the KOMA violation occurred to void the public body’s decision.

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* 5. It is declared to be the public policy of the state of Kansas that public records shall be open for inspection by any person unless otherwise provided by the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA), and the KORA shall be liberally construed and applied to promote such policy.

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* 6. When a public agency charges fees for copying records requested under the KORA, the fees shall not exceed the actual cost of furnishing copies, including the cost of staff time required to make the information available.

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* 7. A public agency may require a person to write a request for public records on a particular form provided by the agency.

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* 8. If a person asks a public agency for a record that is a “public record” as defined by KORA, the agency must disclose it without exception.

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* 9. If a public agency is asked for a record containing material not subject to disclosure, the agency shall separate or delete such material and make available to the requestor the material in the public record which is subject to disclosure.

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* 10. The KORA defines public records in a way that includes email messages that are about a public agency’s official business and that are sent and received by public employees using their private email accounts.

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