Monday, February 23, 2009

Attorney General issues open government rulings

The following Open Records decisions were issued by the Office of the Attorney General Feb. 16-19:

1. 09-ORD-031 (Calloway County)
Murray-Calloway County Public Hospital, doing business as Murray-Calloway County Hospital, properly relied on KRS 61.878(1)(c)1. in redacting sensitive financial information confidentially disclosed to it by a private medical practice under the terms of a physician recruitment agreement, and KRS 61.878(1)(i) and (j) in redacting typewritten notes and opinions relating to the financial information. The hospital discharged its duty under the Open Records Act by disclosing the total dollars paid to
the recruited physician and his private practice under the terms of the agreement.

2. 09-ORD-032 (Ohio County)
Ohio County Detention Center violated the Open Records Act by not responding to prisoner’s request for a copy of his medical records. 08-ORD-257 is modified to the extent that it holds no further inquiry to be warranted when a jailer asserts he has no access to his facility’s medical records.

3. 09-ORD-033 (Jefferson County)
Acknowledging that KRS 61.870(1)(h) lacks specific parameters for analysis and does not empower the attorney general to compel disclosure of substantiating documentation, the attorney general finds that because it does not derive at least 25 percent of the funds it expends in Kentucky from state or local authority funds, M. A. Mortenson Co. is not a public agency under that provision, and its records are not subject to public inspection.

Nevertheless, this appeal provides the occasion for the attorney general to re-evaluate and modify his interpretation of KRS 61.870(1)(h), which will now be construed to extend application of the act to “bodies” that expend at least 25 percent of the funds they derive from state or local authority funds in Kentucky.

4. 09-ORD-034 (Henderson County)
Decision adopting 07-ORD-190; a public agency cannot produce that which it does not have nor does a public agency have to "prove a negative" in order to refute a claim that certain records exist under the rule announced in Bowling v. Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, Ky., 172 S.W.3d 333, 340-41 (2005). In providing requester with name and contact information of the agency in possession of certain responsive documents, the department complied with KRS 61.872(4).

Full texts of the opinions can be found at

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