Auditor of State Public Records
Access to information concerning the conduct of the people's business is a right of every person in this state. Records of the Auditor of State (AOS) that are not exempt from disclosure under the law are available for inspection and copying in accordance with the Ohio Public Records Act.
You may view the records you have requested at all reasonable times during the regular business hours of this office. If you wish to view public records at our office, we will promptly make them available to you. If you wish to receive copies of records, we will provide them within a reasonable period of time. "Prompt" and "reasonable" take into account the volume of records requested; the proximity of the location where the records are stored; and the necessity for any legal review of the records requested.
Once we have received your request, we will provide our response or acknowledge your request and provide you with an estimate of when you should expect our response, an estimated cost if copies have been requested, and the items (if any) that we expect may be exempt from disclosure. If at any time prior to completing our response, we believe our response will take longer than initially estimated (because of the volume of records requested, the proximity of location where the records are stored, or the complexity of the legal review), we will inform you of this change.
If any portion of your request for records must be denied because the records are exempt from disclosure under the law, we will inform you which records you have requested are not public by clearly marking the portion "redacted" or we will explain which portions of the record(s) have been redacted. In addition, we will provide you with the legal authority upon which we have relied.
Note: if your request has been denied it could be that the request made was overbroad, ambiguous, or doesn't reasonably identify our records. Information will be provided about how our records are maintained, and if you wish, you may revise your request for the records.
A fee for copies of public records may be charged which covers the direct costs of duplication incurred by the AOS; currently this fee is $.05 and $1.00 per CD-ROM. In addition, actual costs of postage or other delivery may be charged. We may require payment of these fees prior to processing your request. It is the policy of the AOS to waive charges to a requester for duplication of 20 pages or less per month.
Feel free to ask our Open Government Unit any questions you may have about public records
Updated: June 10, 2011
Ohio Public Records
All public offices are required to adopt a policy that describes how the public office will respond to public records requests.
Although not required to do so, the public office may obtain guidance in developing its policy from the Model Public Records Policy developed by the Ohio Attorney General.
There are three specific items that public offices’ cannot have in their public records policies. The policy cannot:
- Limit the number of public records it will make available to a single person.
- Limit the number of public records it will make available during a fixed period of time.
- Establish a fixed period of time before it will respond to a request for inspection/copying of public records unless that period is less than eight hours.
Therefore, AOS will:
- Require evidence that the public office adopted a public records policy.
- Inspect the policy to confirm that none of the above mentioned three items are included in such policy.
All public offices are required to distribute their Public Records Policy to the employee who is the records custodian/manager or otherwise has custody of the records of that office. The AOS requires written evidence that the records custodian/manager acknowledged receipt of a copy of the policy.
All public offices are required to create a poster that describes the public records policy adopted by the public office. In addition, the public office is required to post the poster in a conspicuous place in the public office and in all locations where the public office has branch offices. Finally, if the public office has an employee policies and procedures manual or handbook, it is required that the public records policy be included in such manual or handbook. The AOS requires evidence that:
- The public office created a poster to describe its public records policy.
- The poster containing the policy has been posted in required locations.
- The policy has been included in the employee manual/handbook.