Title 63G Chapter 2 Section 204

General Government
Government Records Access and Management Act
Section 204
Requests -- Time limit for response and extraordinary circumstances.

            

63G-2-204.   Requests -- Time limit for response and extraordinary circumstances.

            (1) A person making a request for a record shall furnish the governmental entity with a written request containing:

            (a) the person's name, mailing address, and daytime telephone number, if available; and

            (b) a description of the record requested that identifies the record with reasonable specificity.

            (2) (a) Subject to Subsection (2)(b), a person making a request for a record shall submit the request to the governmental entity that prepares, owns, or retains the record.

            (b) In response to a request for a record, a governmental entity may not provide a record that it has received under Section 63G-2-206 as a shared record if the record was shared for the purpose of auditing, if the governmental entity is authorized by state statute to conduct an audit.

            (c) If a governmental entity is prohibited from providing a record under Subsection (2)(b), it shall:

            (i) deny the records request; and

            (ii) inform the person making the request that records requests must be submitted to the governmental entity that prepares, owns, or retains the record.

            (d) A governmental entity may make rules in accordance with Title 63G, Chapter 3, Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act, specifying where and to whom requests for access shall be directed.

            (3) After receiving a request for a record, a governmental entity shall:

            (a) review each request that seeks an expedited response and notify, within five business days after receiving the request, each requester that has not demonstrated that their record request benefits the public rather than the person that their response will not be expedited; and

            (b) as soon as reasonably possible, but no later than 10 business days after receiving a written request, or five business days after receiving a written request if the requester demonstrates that expedited response to the record request benefits the public rather than the person:

            (i) approve the request and provide a copy of the record;

            (ii) deny the request in accordance with the procedures and requirements of Section 63G-2-205;

            (iii) notify the requester that it does not maintain the record requested and provide, if known, the name and address of the governmental entity that does maintain the record; or

            (iv) notify the requester that because of one of the extraordinary circumstances listed in Subsection (5), it cannot immediately approve or deny the request, and include with the notice:

            (A) a description of the circumstances that constitute the extraordinary circumstances; and

            (B) the date when the records will be available, consistent with the requirements of Subsection (6).

            (4) Any person who requests a record to obtain information for a story or report for publication or broadcast to the general public is presumed to be acting to benefit the public rather than a person.

            (5) The following circumstances constitute "extraordinary circumstances" that allow a governmental entity to delay approval or denial by an additional period of time as specified in Subsection (6) if the governmental entity determines that due to the extraordinary circumstances it cannot respond within the time limits provided in Subsection (3):

            (a) another governmental entity is using the record, in which case the originating governmental entity shall promptly request that the governmental entity currently in possession return the record;

            (b) another governmental entity is using the record as part of an audit, and returning the record before the completion of the audit would impair the conduct of the audit;

            (c) (i) the request is for a voluminous quantity of records or a record series containing a substantial number of records; or

            (ii) the requester seeks a substantial number of records or records series in requests filed within five working days of each other;

            (d) the governmental entity is currently processing a large number of records requests;

            (e) the request requires the governmental entity to review a large number of records to locate the records requested;

            (f) the decision to release a record involves legal issues that require the governmental entity to seek legal counsel for the analysis of statutes, rules, ordinances, regulations, or case law;

            (g) segregating information that the requester is entitled to inspect from information that the requester is not entitled to inspect requires extensive editing; or

            (h) segregating information that the requester is entitled to inspect from information that the requester is not entitled to inspect requires computer programming.

            (6) If one of the extraordinary circumstances listed in Subsection (5) precludes approval or denial within the time specified in Subsection (3), the following time limits apply to the extraordinary circumstances:

            (a) for claims under Subsection (5)(a), the governmental entity currently in possession of the record shall return the record to the originating entity within five business days of the request for the return unless returning the record would impair the holder's work;

            (b) for claims under Subsection (5)(b), the originating governmental entity shall notify the requester when the record is available for inspection and copying;

            (c) for claims under Subsections (5)(c), (d), and (e), the governmental entity shall:

            (i) disclose the records that it has located which the requester is entitled to inspect;

            (ii) provide the requester with an estimate of the amount of time it will take to finish the work required to respond to the request;

            (iii) complete the work and disclose those records that the requester is entitled to inspect as soon as reasonably possible; and

            (iv) for any person that does not establish a right to an expedited response as authorized by Subsection (3), a governmental entity may choose to:

            (A) require the person to provide for copying of the records as provided in Subsection 63G-2-201(9); or

            (B) treat a request for multiple records as separate record requests, and respond sequentially to each request;

            (d) for claims under Subsection (5)(f), the governmental entity shall either approve or deny the request within five business days after the response time specified for the original request has expired;

            (e) for claims under Subsection (5)(g), the governmental entity shall fulfill the request within 15 business days from the date of the original request; or

            (f) for claims under Subsection (5)(h), the governmental entity shall complete its programming and disclose the requested records as soon as reasonably possible.

            (7) (a) If a request for access is submitted to an office of a governmental entity other than that specified by rule in accordance with Subsection (2), the office shall promptly forward the request to the appropriate office.

            (b) If the request is forwarded promptly, the time limit for response begins when the record is received by the office specified by rule.

            (8) If the governmental entity fails to provide the requested records or issue a denial within the specified time period, that failure is considered the equivalent of a determination denying access to the record.


Amended by Chapter 340, 2011 General Session