What is a record?
A record is any material on which written, drawn printed, spoken, visual or electromagnetic information is recorded or preserved, regardless of physical form or characteristics, which has been created or is being kept by an authority in connection with official purpose or function of the agency. A record includes handwritten, typed or printed documents; maps and charts; photographs, films, recordings, tapes (including computer tapes), computer print outs and optical disks.
What is not subject to Wisconsin's Open Records Law?
Common exemptions include:
• Drafts, notes, preliminary documents and similar materials.
• Purely personal property with no relation to the office.
• Material with access limited due to copyright, patient or bequest.
• Computer programs (but the material input and material produced as the product of a computer program is subject to the right of inspection and copying).
• Certain employee information.
• Published material available for sale or available at a library.
Who can make an open records request?
Generally, any person may make an open records request. Wisconsin statutes limit access when the requestor is incarcerated or mentally committed to records that contain specific references to the requestor or his or her minor children.
Who do I submit my request to?
To make an Open Records Request to the School District of Beloit, please email requests to email@example.com or mail your request to the School District of Beloit, Attn: Donna Dooley, Deputy Records Custodian, 1500 Fourth Street, Beloit, WI 53511.
Do I have to identify myself when making the request?
No, generally the requestor does not need to identify themselves.
Am I required to state the reason for my request?
No. A requester is not required to state the purpose of the request.
Can I get electronic records?
Electronic records are subject to the open records law. Computer programs are not subject to the open records law, but records produced as the product of a computer program are subject to inspection and copying.
How long will it take to receive the requested records?
By law, open records must be provided "as soon as practicable and without delay." The School District of Beloit has a goal to provide records within ten business days. A large, detailed request may take longer.
What is the cost of requesting records?
Records will be available for inspection and copying during all regular working hours at the office of each record custodian. Per Policy 824; Rule 1, A requestor shall be charged a fee for the cost of copying and locating records as follows:
• The fee for photocopying shall be at the prevailing federal rate per page.
• If the form of a written record does not permit copying, the actual and necessary cost of photographing and photographic processing shall be charged.
• The actual full cost of providing a copy of other records not in printed form on paper such as films, computer printouts and audio videotapes shall be charged.
• If mailing or shipping is necessary, the actual cost thereof shall also be charged.
• There shall be no charge for locating a record unless the actual cost exceeds $50.00 in which case the actual cost shall be determined by the record custodian and be billed to the requestor.
• The record custodian shall estimate the cost of all applicable fees and may require a cash deposit adequate to assure payment, if such estimate exceeds $5.00.
• Elected officials and employees of the District shall not be required to pay for public records they may reasonably require for the proper performance of their official duties.
• The record custodian may provide copies of a record without charge, or at a reduced charge, where he/she determines that the waiver or reduction is in the public's interest.