Colorado Open Records Act Policy
Colorado PERA developed this policy in order to implement the Colorado Open Records Act, Colorado Revised Statutes § 24-72-201 et. seq. This policy is not intended to be duplicative of the Colorado Open Records Act or supersede state law.
Office Procedure For Handling Records Requests
PERA will accept only records requests made in writing or electronically via email or fax. Records requests made via social media will not be accepted and must be resubmitted. Records requests or requestors that cite the federal Freedom of Information Act will be treated as though they were made pursuant to the Colorado Open Records Act.
Requests for information must identify the records requested as specifically as possible and with record date ranges to allow PERA to respond to the request efficiently and in a timely manner.
When responding to a records request, PERA shall make every effort to respond within three working days as required by C.R.S. § 24-72-203(3)(b). PERA may add up to a seven-working-day extension if extenuating circumstances apply, as described in C.R.S. § 24-72-203(3)(b). The requestor and PERA may agree to a longer time period for response. A request is received by PERA the day an email, fax, or letter containing a request is opened. The three-working-day response time begins the first PERA working day following receipt of the request. A request received after 4:00 p.m. or any day PERA is officially closed will be considered received as of the following working day.
When feasible, PERA will endeavor to provide electronic copies or files to requestors if such alternative is significantly less burdensome to provide than paper records. The requester will be notified when the electronic information is compiled and available. PERA will hold such information for the requestor for 10 business days. After that, the compiled electronic information may be destroyed and the requestor will have to pay for the information to be compiled again.
When responsive records cannot be easily or cost-effectively provided electronically to a requestor, PERA will work with the requestor to schedule a time to inspect the records in person. PERA is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Mountain time) Monday through Friday, except holidays.
When a substantial request is made—requiring the production of more than 25 pages of documents or more than one hour of staff time to locate or produce records—PERA will charge the requestor for all copying expenses and for staff time in accordance with C.R.S. § 24-72-205(5)(a), and applicable law. Any costs charged to a requestor will not exceed the actual cost of producing the records.
For requests where PERA anticipates more than 25 pages will be produced and/or more than one hour of staff time will be consumed, PERA will provide a requestor with advance notice and an estimate of compliance costs. Such costs must be paid in full before the production of records unless alternative arrangements have been made. If the actual costs exceed the initial estimate provided by PERA, the actual cost will be billed to the requestor and the requestor will be required to pay that cost prior to production of the records.
When the number of pages produced in response to a records request exceeds 25 pages, PERA will charge $0.25 per page for all documents copied.
Document Retrieval and Production of Records—Hourly Rate
When researching the location, retrieving, or producing records consumes more than one hour of staff time, PERA shall charge $20 an hour for all non-attorney staff time; $30 an hour for all attorney staff time; and an hourly rate not to exceed $30 an hour when specialized document production or specialized skills are required to fully comply with a records request. In extraordinary circumstances, the use of a third-party contractor may be necessary and will be discussed with the requestor in advance. This cost must be paid in full prior to production of records.
By policy of PERA, the requestor shall also be charged $30 an hour for time spent by an attorney engaged in the practice of law directly related to a records request, including, but not limited to, the review of documents for privilege or other exemptions to production; document redaction; creation of documents that articulate the privileged nature of the requested documents; or conducting Colorado Open Records Act related legal research.
The Format of Records Produced
The Colorado Open Records Act states that, “all public records shall be open for inspection by any person at reasonable times, except as provided in this part 2 or as otherwise specifically provided by law.” See C.R.S. § 24-72-201. The Colorado Open Records Act does not guarantee access to public records in a specific format and it does not require that PERA construct a document that does not exist. When the production or review of records in a specific format would interfere with the regular duties of PERA employees, see C.R.S. § 24-72-203(1)(a), or levy an undue burden upon PERA, PERA will determine the appropriate format for the records to be produced. PERA may require that requestors only be allowed to review copies of documents when PERA determines that allowing access to originals could interfere with the regular discharge of duties of PERA, its officers or its staff, or production of original records could jeopardize the condition of the records.
Direct requests and any questions regarding this policy to:
1301 Pennsylvania Street
Denver, CO 80203