Public Records Policy for Knoxville Area Transit
Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 10-7-503(g), the following Public Records Policy for Knoxville Area Transit is hereby adopted to provide economical and efficient access to public records as provided under the Tennessee Public Records Act (“TPRA”) in Tenn. Code Ann. § 10-7-501, et seq.
Knoxville Area Transit shall timely and efficiently provide access and assistance to eligible persons requesting to view or receive copies of public records. No provisions of this Policy shall be used to hinder access to open public records. However, the integrity and organization of public records, as well as the efficient and safe operation of Knoxville Area Transit, shall be protected as provided by current law. Concerns about this Policy should be addressed to the Public Records Request Coordinator for Knoxville Area Transit.
This Policy is posted online at www.katbus.com.
B. Public Records: All documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, microfilms, electronic data processing files and output, films, sound recordings, or other material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any governmental agency. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 10-7-503(a)(1)(A).
C. Public Records Request Coordinator. The individual designated in Section III, A.3 of this Policy who has the responsibility to ensure public record requests are routed to the appropriate records custodian and are fulfilled in accordance with the TPRA. See Tenn.Code Ann. § 10-7-503(a)(1)(B). The Public Records Request Coordinator may also be a records custodian.
D. Requestor. A person seeking access to a public record, whether it is for inspection or duplication.
II. Requesting Access to Public Records
B. Requests for inspection only cannot be required to be made in writing. The PRRC should request a mailing or email address from the requestor for providing any written communication required under the TPRA.
C. Requests for inspection may be made orally or in writing using the attached Public Records Request Form. The form shall be delivered to the PRRC by hand delivery, e-mail, or United States mail at 301 E. Church Ave., Knoxville, Tn., 37915, Attn: Public Records Request Coordinator. Oral requests may be made in person or by phone by calling Belinda Woodiel-Brill at 865-215-7828.
D. Requests for copies, or requests for inspection and copies, must be made in writing using the attached Public Records Request Form and delivering same to the PRRC by hand delivery, e-mail, or by United States mail at 301 E. Church Ave., Knoxville, Tn., 37915, Attn: Public Records Request Coordinator.
E. Proof of Tennessee citizenship by the presentation of a valid Tennessee driver’s license or alternative acceptable form of ID is required as a condition to inspect or receive copies of public records.
III. Responding to Public Records Requests
A. Duties of the PRRC and Records Custodian
1. The PRRC shall review public record requests and make an initial determination of the following:
a. If the requestor provided evidence of Tennessee citizenship.
b. If the records requested are described with sufficient specificity to identify them.
c. If Knoxville Area Transit is the custodian of the records.
2. The PRRC shall acknowledge receipt of the request and take any of the following appropriate action(s):
a. Advise the requestor of this Policy and any determinations made regarding:
i. Proof of Tennessee citizenship.
ii. Form(s) required for copies.
iii. Fees (and labor threshold and waivers, if applicable).
iv. Aggregation of multiple or frequent requests.
b. If appropriate, deny the request in writing, providing the appropriate ground, such as one of the following:
i. The requestor is not, or has not presented evidence of being, a Tennessee citizen.
ii. The request lacks specificity.
iii. An exemption makes the record not subject to disclosure under the TPRA.
iv. Knoxville Area Transit is not the custodian of the requested records.
v. The records do not exist.
c. If appropriate, contact the requestor to see if the request can be narrowed.
3. The designated PRRC is:
4. Upon receiving a public records request, a records custodian or the PRRC shall make requested public records available in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. §10-7-503. If there is uncertainty about whether an applicable exemption applies, a records custodian or the PRRC should consult with legal counsel.
5. If not practicable to promptly provide requested records because additional time is necessary, a records custodian or the PRRC shall within seven (7) business days from the PRRC’s receipt of the request, send the request or a completed Public Records Request Response Form (attached).
6. If a public record request is denied, the PRRC shall deny the request in writing as provided in Section III.A.2.b using the Public Records Request Response Form.
7. If a records custodian or the PRRC determines that production of records should be segmented because the records request is for a large volume of records, or additional time is necessary to prepare the records for access, the requestor shall be notified that production of the records will be in segments and that a records production schedule will be provided as expeditiously as practicable. If appropriate, the PRRC should contact the requestor to see if the request can be narrowed.
8. If a records custodian or the PRRC discovers records responsive to a records request were omitted, the PRRC should contact the requestor concerning the omission and produce the records as quickly as practicable.
1. If a record contains confidential information or information that is not open for public inspection, the records custodian or the PRRC shall prepare a redacted copy prior to providing access. If questions arise concerning redaction, the records custodian or PRRC should coordinate with legal counsel regarding review and redaction of records.
2. Whenever a redacted record is provided, the PRRC should provide the requestor with the basis for redaction. The basis given for redaction shall be general in nature and not disclose confidential information.
IV. Inspection of Records
B. The location for inspection of records within the offices of Knoxville Area Transit should be determined by the PRRC.
C. Under reasonable circumstances, the PRRC may require an appointment for inspection or may require inspection of records at an alternate location.
V. Copies of Records
B. Copies will be available for pickup at a location specified by the PRRC.
C. Upon payment for postage, copies will be delivered to the requestor’s home address by the United States Postal Service or if requested made available for pick-up at Knoxville Area Transit’s offices.
D. A requestor may be allowed to make copies of records with personal equipment provided that the PRRC is satisfied that the integrity of the records is not compromised and such arrangements do not unnecessarily disrupt Knoxville Area Transit’s business operations.
VI. Fees and Charges and Procedures for Billing and Payment
A. The PRRC shall provide requestors with an itemized estimate of the charges prior to producing copies of records and may require pre-payment of such charges before producing requested records.
B. When fees for copies and labor do not exceed $20.00, the fees may be waived. Requests for waivers for fees above $20.00 must be presented to the PRRC who is authorized to determine if such waiver is in the best interest of Knoxville Area Transit and for the public good. Fees associated with aggregated records requests will not be waived.
C. Fees and charges for copies are as follows:
1. $0.15 per page for letter- and legal-size black and white copies.
2. $0.50 per page for letter- and legal-size color copies.
3. Labor when time exceeds 2 hours.
4. If an outside vendor is used, the actual costs assessed by the vendor.
D. Payment in advance may be required when costs are estimated to exceed $20.00.
E. Aggregation of Frequent and Multiple Requests
1. Knoxville Area Transit will aggregate record requests in accordance with the frequent and Multiple Request Policy promulgated by the OORC when more than four (4) requests are received within a calendar month (either from a single individual or a group of individuals deemed working in concert).