A record is any material on which written, drawn, printed, spoken, visual or electromagnetic information is recorded or preserved, regardless of physical form or characteristics, which has been created or is being kept by an authority in connection with official purpose or function of the agency. A record includes handwritten, typed or printed documents; maps and charts; photographs, films and tape recordings; computer tapes and printouts, CDs and optical discs; and electronic records and communications.
There are numerous federal and state laws that exempt particular records from disclosure. Common exemptions include:
For more information on exemptions, see DOJ Compliance Outline.
Generally, any person may make an open records request. Wisconsin statutes limit access when the requestor is incarcerated or mentally committed to records that contain specific references to the requestor or his or her minor children. See DOJ Compliance Outline.
No. Generally the requestor need not identify himself or herself; however, substantive statutes, such as those concerning student records and health records, restrict record access to certain persons. See Wis. Stat. § 19.35(1)(i).
No. A requester is not required to state the purpose of the request.
Yes. Upon request, WEDC will make the requested records available to you to inspect.
Yes. WEDC will provide copies of open records at the cost of 0.25/page. Where the request involves copying of a large volume of records, you may request copies be made by a bonded copying service in which case, if approved by WEDC, the requestor would pay the rate charged by the service. See the fee schedule below.
By law, open records must be provided “as soon as practicable and without delay.” Wis. Stat. §19.35(4)(a). A reasonable time for response to any specific request depends on the nature of the request, the staff and other resources available to the authority to process the request, the extent of the request, and related considerations. Although the public records law does not require response within any specific time, average record requests are generally available within ten working days. See DOJ Compliance Outline.
Electronic records are subject to the open records law. Computer programs are not subject to the open records law, but records produced as the product of a computer program are subject to inspection and copying. A person can not require WEDC to create a new record by extracting and compiling information from existing records in a new format. When information is stored in a database, a person can “within reasonable limits” request a data run to obtain the requested information. See DOJ Compliance Outline.
WEDC charges the actual, necessary and direct costs for copies of records, which are established in COMM 2.02 as follows:
WEDC may, upon request, waive the fee in whole or in part.
If you have questions about this page, contact Hannah Renfro at 608.210.6705.