The Kansas Open Records Act (KORA) is a law that aids persons wishing to obtain access to public records. This law requires public agencies and other public bodies to make public records available for inspection and duplication without explanation at a reasonable cost. “Public record” generally means any recorded information, regardless of form or a characteristic, which is made, maintained or kept, or is in the possession of any public agency.
Under KORA, you have the right to:
The Kansas Sentencing Commission (KSC) is an executive agency responsible for administering the Kansas Sentencing Guidelines Act, K.S.A. 74-9101 et.seq. Among other duties and responsibilities, the KSC:
The KSC collects and compiles statistical information regarding felony sentences reported each fiscal year, tracks the number of felony sentences resulting in incarceration or probation, tracks the conformity of felony sentences to the sentencing guidelines, and provides annual inmate population projections. This information is published annually in a Kansas Sentencing Commission Annual Report.
The KSC also publishes the Kansas Sentencing Guidelines Desk Reference Manual annually. The Desk Reference Manual (DRM) provides an annual legislative update of changes to the sentencing guidelines; changes to sentencing forms; contains instructions for judges, prosecutors, defense counsel and court services officers in implementing the sentencing guidelines, and also provides an annual case law update for Kansas appellate cases and Kansas Attorney General Opinions which significantly affect the sentencing guidelines.
These documents can be found on this website.
Most records maintained by public entities are open for public inspection and copying. Records commonly requested include, but are not limited to;
The KORA recognizes that certain records contain private or privileged information. The Act lists several exceptions, including but not limited to;
A list of additional exemptions can be found in K.S.A. 2005 Supp. 45-221.
Note: An agency is only required to provide public records that already exist. There is no requirement for the agency to create a public record upon request.
KSC office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding official state holidays.
The agency may require that any request for access or copies be writing so as to adequately document the request, clarify exactly what records are sought and to determine the requester’s right to access. Such written request shall state the requester’s name and address, information necessary to ascertain the records to which the requester desires access and the requester’s right to access.
For public records which are not confidential or may not be discretionarily closed pursuant to K.S.A. 2005 Supp. 45-221, or other law, it will be sufficient to state “Kansas Open Records Act, K.S.A. 45-215 et seq.,” as the requester’s right to access. Identification records sought must be as specific as possible to aid in identifying the record sought. Requests will be honored for documents in existence at the time of the request. Documents may not be requested prospectively. Optionally, to aid in contacting the requester, a daytime telephone number should be provided.
In general, an agency has three business days within which to respond to a KORA request. The KSC will act on requests as soon as possible, however, if it appears it will take some time to provide records or notification of fees is required, a response will be provided within three business days of receipt of the request, estimating fees and proving further information regarding the agency’s ability and plans to provide the requested records.
Fees shall be charged for providing access to, furnishing copies of and research of records. Inspection, copying and research charges as allowed by K.S.A. 45-219, may be charged for the actual cost of staff time, research, and materials used. When the KSC is designated the official custodian of the public records, the agency has sole determination of the agency’s ability to comply with the request for records in a specific electronic format or the ability to produce any special computer-generated reports.
KSC will provide an estimate of fees to be charged prior to providing records and where such estimate is provided fees actually charged shall not exceed such estimate. KSC reserves the right to require any estimated charge for access to or copies of records be received before work is performed to produce the records in order to insure payment.
This charge does not include the cost of more than one quarter of an hour of research or access time needed to locate records which are not readily accessible, to determine what specific records meet the requested criteria, to segregate public from non-public information, to access records from archives or similar services. Such charges are covered by the Search Charge listed below.
A mail charge may be assessed in addition to the copy charge when mail service is requested. A charge of $.40 cents may be charged for the first 5 pages and an additional $ .25 cents may be charged for each additional 5 page increment when shipped via United Sates Postal Service (USPS) first class. Urgent, express, overnight, or similar delivery services may be provided when the requestor provides their billing number for such package.
The cost to fax is a per page charge. This includes services required in copying a record in addition to all transmission costs. Records in excess of 10 pages will not ordinarily be provided by fax.
The rate charged for research conducted by KSC staff is a per hour charge. This charge includes but is not limited staff time, processing time and time for providing copies of records in the requested format.
Upon request, the agency shall provide the requester an estimate of the charges that will be incurred for the time that will be required to provide access to the open records. Advanced payment may be required.
The rate charged for computer time is a per hour charge. This charge includes staff time, including associated computer connect and processing time, for providing copies of records in available electronic format or for production of special computer-generated reports.
When the KSC is designated the official custodian of the public records, the agency has sole determination of the agency’s ability to comply with the request for records in a specific electronic format or the ability to produce any special computer-generated reports.* Hourly charges are billed by the quarter hour.