Tennessee Office of Open Records Counsel

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Tennessee Office of Open Records Counsel
Leadership: Elisha Hodge
Founded by: Tennessee Open Records Act
Website: http://www.tn.gov/comptroller/openrecords/index.htm
Powers:
The office is charged with providing information to the public and public bodies, filing informal opinions on records disputes, acting as an informal mediator for records disputes and developing forms, policies and guidelines for local and state governments.

The Tennessee Office of Open Records Counsel is a state-run office aimed at assisting citizens in gaining access to open records in Tennessee. The office is staffed by ombudsmen Ann Butterworth, open records director and Elisha Hodge, open records specialist.

Duties

The duties and responsibilities of the office, according to their website are:

Mission Statement

"The Office of Open Records Counsel is located within the Comptroller of the Treasury. The mission of the Comptroller’s Office is to improve the quality of life for all Tennesseans by making government work better.[1]

Purpose

"The Office of Open Records Counsel serves as the contact for concerns on access to local government public records under the Tennessee Public Records Act (Tenn. Code Ann. Sections 10-7-501 et seq.). The Office assists in obtaining public records from local government, both in guiding citizens to correct offices/officials and in working to resolve disputes regarding access to public records. The Office promotes education and awareness of the Tennessee public records and open meetings laws through direct outreach and through coordination with existing organizations. This effort is addressed both to citizens and to local governments."[1]

Responsibilities

"The responsibilities of the Office include: answering questions and providing information to public officials and the public regarding public records; collecting data on open meetings law inquires and problems; providing educational outreach on open records laws and open meetings laws; issuing informal advisory opinions on open records issues; informally mediating and assisting with the resolution of issues concerning records; working in conjunction with the Advisory Committee on Open Government on open meetings and open records issues; and developing forms, schedule, policies, and guidelines."[1]

Meeting information

The meeting and training information for the counsel could be found at the counsel's website.[2]

Contact Information

Office of Open Records Counsel
505 Deaderick Street, Suite 1700
James K. Polk Building
Nashville, Tennessee 37243
Phone (615) 401-7891, Fax (615) 532-9237
Toll free number: 1-866-831-3750
Email address: open.records@state.tn.us

See also

External links

References