2017 Action on Public Records Part 4: State Archivist Training and Dispute Resolution

Oregon Archivist Mary Beth Herkert offered to expand training on public records and provide facilitated dispute resolution.  In July 2017, Secretary of State Richardson issued rules describing the archivist’s role.

Training to all plus guidance to government.

The State Archivist must provide training throughout Oregon to the public, media, state agencies and local governments on public records management and on responding to public records.  State and local governments may request guidance and advice on records management and public records requests.  Additionally, the Archivist must survey and report on practices and procedures relating to public records, exemptions and fees.  Reference:  OAR 166-37-0010 and 0020.

Facilitated Dispute Resolution.

A person who requests public records may seek facilitated dispute resolution (“mediation”) when the requester disagrees with a public body’s (a) decision to deny access to records, (b) estimate of its costs to produce the records or (c) decision to deny a request to waive or reduce the costs it plans to charge the requester.

A public body may ask the Archivist to mediate when the public body asserts: (a) the records sought are not public records, (b) the law exempts the records from disclosure, (c) the scope of the request is too broad to be cost efficient or (d) the requester should pay the costs to produce the records.  Reference: OAR 166-35-0005 to 0015.

© 2017 by Jeff Merrick