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Banner Able To Reduce CAB Record Requests
March 14, 2007 - As many readers are aware, The Banner is not shy about asking public agencies for copies of public records they have - or should have - in their possession.
Because the records generally sought by The Banner are those of local and state agencies, the newspaper's public record requests are made pursuant to Indiana's Access to Public Records Act. This set of statutes allows any person - not just newspapers and other media - to "inspect and copy the public records of any public agency," unless the records are of such a nature that the agency is not permitted to disclose them or has the discretion to withhold them.
Requests for public records can be made in person, by telephone, by mail or by fax. For requests made in person or by phone, public agencies have 24 hours to respond before they are deemed to have denied a request. If a request is received by mail or fax, however, the public agencies have seven days to respond.
Without a doubt, the public agency that has been the recipient of the largest number of record requests from The Banner over the past few years has been the Charles A. Beard Memorial School Corporation. However, as the result of a drastic change in CAB's position on sharing public records with The Banner, the number of record requests the school corporation has received from the newspaper this school year has decreased dramatically.
Since July 1, 2006, after David McGuire took over as CAB's new superintendent, The Banner has only filed a dozen public record requests with the school corporation. By comparison, the newspaper had submitted 28 record requests to CAB during the same eight-month period the year before.
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