Tuesday, November 8, 2016

UofL Foundation failed to specifically explain delay; did not meet own delayed deadline

The University of Louisville Foundation again violated the Open Records Act by not explaining why access to records was delayed.

Beshear’s office issued an opinion on Oct. 6, 2016, in the appeal of In re: Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting/University of Louisville Foundation, 16-ORD-215.

Brendan McCarthy, managing editor with the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, requested records on June 16 from the foundation detailing certain disclosures from the foundation’s 2015 Annual Report.

On June 21, the foundation cited KRS 61.872(5) and explained the records were in storage or active use and were being retrieved and reviewed. It also noted it would contact McCarthy by July 6 with the responsive records.

McCarthy appealed on July 22 after not hearing anything from the foundation, including a July 19 email to the Foundation changing contact persons for that request.

The foundation responded to the appeal that a final response was sent by letter on July 21, which was attached. The attached letter detailed the various items requested by the Center with whether records existed and several exemptions and citations to the Open Records Act.

Of the nine specific request six of them were found to have no responsive records, while three did have records that would be made available to the center.

Beshear found that neither the foundation’s initial response nor the response to the appeal are specific enough under the Act, but finds there was no substantive error in the ultimate conclusion of the request.

In further explanation, Beshear noted the foundation did not give a detailed explanation for the cause of a further delay past the three-day response period, noting the foundation even failed to meet its own deadline of July 6.

Due to the foundation providing the existing responsive records, there was no substantive violation of the Open Records Act.

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