KANSAS OPEN RECORDS ACT (KORA) FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • How do I request a public record?
    • Visit www.bpu.com to see if what you are looking for is available online. Open record request forms are also available online. For assistance on submitting an open records request, contact BPU Chief Communications Officer David Mehlhaff at 913-573-9173 or dmehlhaff@bpu.com.

  • Do I have to put my request in writing?
    • To ensure both you and BPU are clear on what you are requesting, they may require you to put a request in writing. While BPU does provide forms for submitting requests, you are not required to use any particular form and email requests are acceptable.

  • Who can request a record?
    • Anyone can. There is no requirement that a person making the request has any relationship to the records being requested. There is no special status for any person making a record request, even if the record is about them.

  • What might BPU ask of me when I request records?
    • BPU may ask for a form or proof of your identity. They may also ask that you provide your name and address which is optional.

  • Do I have to go in person to the place where the records are kept to make my request?
    • No, you may make your request in writing from anywhere. Many record transactions are handled through the mail or even online.

  • What do I do if BPU that has the records doesn’t have full-time staff or regular business hours?
    • The Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) permits very small agencies that do not have regular office hours to establish reasonable hours when you can inspect or copy records, but BPU may require 24-hour’s notice. All other requirements for access remain the same.

  • May I take a public record and have it copied elsewhere?
    • Not without the record custodian’s approval. If copies cannot be made where records are kept, the custodian will make arrangements to have copies made. Public record custodians are required to keep original documents safe in the event a request is submitted.

  • When can I expect to receive the records?
    • It depends on the availability of the records. Some records may be provided at the time they are requested, others may have to be gathered and reviewed before releasing them.

  • What is the “three day” requirement?
    • BPU must act upon your request as soon as possible, but not more than three business days, beginning the day after the request is received.

  • Does this mean I will get the records in three days?
    • No, BPU must communicate with you within three days. They may provide the records, or explain they do not have the records, or notify you that your request is in progress and will be completed as soon as possible.

  • Is there a deadline of when records must be given to me?
    • No, each request and record is unique. If there is a delay the record custodian should provide an estimated time to you. Records may need to be obtained from remote locations. Other records that contain closed portions must be reviewed and appropriately redacted.

  • Does KORA require that BPU answer my questions?
    • No, KORA only applies to records as they exist prior to your request. If you are asking for information, analysis, or an explanation about a policy, you might get them, but not under the rules of KORA. KORA does not require BPU to do research or provide answers to your questions.

  • May I request records that will be created in the future?
    • No, records not yet in existence are not subject to KORA. Even though many records are routinely created, such as meeting minutes and monthly financial reports, your request must be made after they are prepared and available.

  • May BPU charge fees for accessing or copying records?
    • Yes. KORA permits BPU to recover their costs for gathering and copying records.

  • What kinds of costs are allowed?
    • BPU may only charge the direct cost for staff time to gather, review, photocopy, and send the records to you. BPU may not charge for overhead or indirect costs.

  • Is there a standard fee schedule that BPU must use?
    • No, KORA permits BPU to establish fees. BPU must present the best estimate for actual costs.

  • May BPU collect fees in advance?
    • Yes, KORA allows BPU to collect estimated fees in advance. If the actual cost is less, you will be refunded the difference. If it is more, BPU may bill you for the additional costs.

  • What can I do if I believe the fees are unreasonable?
    • You may contact the county or district attorney about the issue. If BPU can justify the fees and confirm they are based upon actual costs, then they are reasonable.

  • May I use a public record that contains names or addresses to offer goods or services for sale?
    • No, KORA prohibits using names and addresses as a marketing tool except in very limited cases, such as professional organizations that offer educational opportunities for licensed individuals.

  • If I request a public record that contains names and addresses, do I have to sign a special form?
    • Yes, KORA permits BPU to require that you certify to not use the names and addresses for any prohibited purposes. If you do not sign the form, BPU will not provide the records.

  • Save Energy, Water, Money by monitoring your usage in real time. Try Energy Engage™ now!
  • Paperless Billing, a simpler way to pay, pay your bill in minutes with paperless billing.
  • FlexPay: The Power to Pay Your Way
  • JOIN THE BPU SOLAR FARM COMMUNITY
  • customer satisfaction survey