Public Records Request Policy

It is the policy of the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) that openness leads to a better informed citizenry, which leads to better government and better public policy. It is the policy of SWACO to strictly adhere to the State Of Ohio's Public Records Act as set forth in Ohio Revised Code section 149.43. Any denial of public records in response to a request will be accompanied by an explanation, including legal authority, as set forth in the Ohio Revised Code. If the request is in writing, any explanation denying a request shall also be in writing.

Section 1. Public Records

SWACO, in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code, defines records as including the following: Any document - paper, electronic (including, but not limited to, email), or other format - that is created or received by, or comes under the jurisdiction of SWACO that documents the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of SWACO. All records of SWACO are public unless they are specifically exempt from disclosure under the Ohio Revised Code.

Section 1.1.

It is the policy of SWACO, that, as required by Ohio law, records will be organized and maintained so that they are readily available for inspection and copying. Record retention schedules shall be updated regularly and made readily available to the public.

Section 2. Record Requests

Although no specific language is required to make a request, the requester must at least identify or describe the records requested with sufficient clarity to allow SWACO to identify, retrieve, and review the records. If it is not clear what records are being sought, SWACO's Records Clerk or other designee shall contact the requester for clarification, and will assist the requester in revising the request by informing the requester of the manner in which SWACO keeps its records.

Section 2.1.

The requester does not have to put a records request in writing, and does not have to provide his or her identity or the intended use of the requested public record. If the requester does not desire to provide his or her identity, then SWACO will assign that requester a "public records request number" which SWACO will use to track communications with the requester and SWACO's responses to the request.

Section 2.2.

Public records shall be available for inspection during regular business hours on days that SWACO is open for business. Public records will be made available for inspection promptly. Copies of records will be provided if requested and will be made available within a reasonable period of time. The terms "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.

Section 2.3.

Each request will be evaluated to determine SWACO's estimated response time to the request, taking 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. If SWACO cannot immediately satisfy a public records request, then SWACO shall acknowledge receipt of the public records request and indicate to the requester the estimated number of business days it will take to satisfy the request; the estimated cost if copies are requested or mailing of copies is requested; and any known items within the request that may be exempt from disclosure. If necessary, SWACO shall update the information contained in the acknowledgement from time to time until the request for public records is satisfied.

Section 2.4.

Any denial of a requested public record shall include an explanation, including legal authority for the denial. If portions of a record are public and portions are exempt, the exempt portions will be redacted and the non-exempt portion released. If there are redactions in a record, each redaction shall be accompanied by a supporting explanation, including legal authority.

Section 3. Costs for Public Records

Requesters seeking copies of public records will be charged only the actual cost of making copies and, if appropriate, the costs of mailing copies of the requested records to the requester via U.S. Postal Service or some other delivery service. SWACO may require a requester to pay the costs associated with copying, downloading or mailing records prior to providing the requester with the desired records.

Section 3.1.

The charge for paper copies is 5 cents per page.

Section 3.2.

The charge for downloaded computer files to a compact disc is 1 dollar per disc.

Section 3.3.

There is no charge for documents transmitted via email.

Section 3.4.

Requesters may ask that documents be mailed to them. They will be charged the actual cost of the postage and mailing supplies, as well as a 5 cent per page charge for the paper copies, and a 1 dollar cost for each compact disc.