Public Records Request Procedures
Purpose: Mississippi law requires that public entities, which includes Alcorn State University, provide access to or copies of the public records of Alcorn in response to a written request. [§§25-61-1, et seq., Mississippi Code of 1972] The mandate for open disclosure of the public records has certain exceptions from disclosure, but those exceptions are extremely limited. The law requires that a public entity that receives a public records request must comply with a written request within one day (1) of the receipt unless the governing body for that public entity has adopted a written policy extending the time for compliance for up to, but not to exceed, seven (7) working days.
Policy Statement: Alcorn follows the policy of the Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning which directs the method and time within which responses to written public records requests are to be made. [IHL Policy 301.0804]
Procedure: To ensure compliance with the law and the above referenced IHL Board policy, Alcorn hereby adopts the following procedures for the processing of all public records requests:
1. All public records requests must be dated, signed by requester, and personally delivered. The request must include the name of the requester, the address of the requester, and the current contact information for the requester.
2. Upon receipt of a written public records request, the Alcorn official who received the request will immediately (within one business day) forward a copy of the request to the appropriate party and will process the request. If further review is necessary then a copy of the request will be forwarded to IHL Board's Legal Office or the Attorney General's Office.
3. Upon receipt, IHL Board's Legal Office or the Attorney General's Office will review the request for compliance with the law.
4. If the request constitutes an appropriate request requiring a response, in the opinion of IHL Board’s Legal Office or the Attorney General's Office, the offices listed above will communicate with the university to determine whether Alcorn does have any records identified in the request within its possession and/or control.
5. If the request identifies records which are within Alcorn possession or control as verified by the university, then IHL Board’s Legal Office or the Attorney General's Office will advise the university of the standard exemptions that apply to public records release.
6. The university will then determine, upon advice of IHL Board’s Legal Office or the Attorney General's Office, whether the records are subject to exemption from disclosure.
7. If no exemption applies to the records, or any part thereof, then:
a. Cost of providing access to and/or copies of the records being requested will be assessed according to IHL Board policy for determining costs.
b. The university will notify the requester of the availability of the records and the costs associated with providing the records.
c. Upon receipt of the payment (cash, check, or money order) of the estimated costs in advance, the university will provide copies of the records.
8. If an exemption does apply to the records, or any part thereof, then IHL Board’s Legal Office or the Attorney General's Office will issue a full or partial denial of the request to the requester. In the event of a partial denial, the process described in paragraph seven (7) above shall be followed for those records not subject to denial.
Questions regarding this policy or the implementation thereof should be directed through email at email@example.com.