June 30, 2021

Updated Publication of Open Records Guide Requires City Action

On June 29, 2021, the Kentucky Office of Attorney General released an updated version of “The Kentucky Open Records & Open Meetings Acts: A guide for the public and public agencies” to include information regarding the significant changes House Bill 312 made to the Kentucky Open Records Act. Publication of this update triggers mandatory distribution requirements for cities.

Mayors have a statutory duty to distribute the publication to certain city officials within 60 days of receipt from the Kentucky Office of Attorney General. While the city clerk generally handles the task, it is important to remember that the duty to distribute the publication and obtain signed proof of receipt ultimately falls to the mayor.

A city may distribute the publication by hard copy or electronically. The city must provide the document to members of the city’s legislative body and any board, commission, authority, committee, and special district located within the city. If the city participates in a joint board or commission, the mayor must distribute the publication to those members appointed by the city.

The municipality must obtain proof of receipt from each city official to document that the city distributed the publication. Cities must retain the signed proofs of receipt on file until the elected or appointed official leaves their service with the city. After a city distributes the publication to the required city officials, the mayor must file a completed and signed “Certificate of Distribution” form with the Kentucky Office of Attorney General.

The certificate must be submitted by U.S. Mail to:

Joseph Fawns

Office of the Attorney General

700 Capitol Avenue, Ste. 118

Frankfort, KY 40601

For questions about this or other issues in your city, please contact the KLC Municipal Law Department at 859-977-3700.