East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists

Update 6/20/08

Now records custodians will have a deadline to meet in responding to open records requests after legislation was signed by Governor Bredesen.  Previously there was no deadline but now custodians will have to respond within seven days or say why more time is needed to comply.

The legislation also outlines duties of the ombudsman, or Open Records Counsel, who assists citizens in gaining access to public records.  That office will also determine how much may be reasonably charged for getting copies of extensive records.

The bill, SB3280, may be found on the General Assembly’s Web site at: http://www.legislature.state.tn.us

The Ombudsman, or Open Records Counsel, including a hotline where citizens (and reporters) may submit inquiries, concerns and questions regarding access to local government public records may be reached at (866) 831-3750. The office is staffed by Director Ann Butterworth and Open Records Specialist Elisha Hodge.

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