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45-217. Definitions. As used in the open records act, unless the context otherwise requires:

(a) "Automated license plate recognition system" means one or more high-speed cameras combined with computer algorithms used to convert images of license plates into computer readable data.

(b) "Business day" means any day other than a Saturday, Sunday or day designated as a holiday by the congress of the United States, by the legislature or governor of this state or by the respective political subdivision of this state.

(c) "Captured license plate data" means the global positioning device coordinates, date and time, photograph, license plate number and any other data captured by or derived from an automated license plate recognition system.

(d) "Clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy" means revealing information that would be highly offensive to a reasonable person, including information that may pose a risk to a person or property and is not of legitimate concern to the public.

(e) "Criminal investigation records" means:

(1) Every audio or video recording made and retained by law enforcement using a body camera or vehicle camera as defined by K.S.A. 45-254, and amendments thereto; and

(2) records of an investigatory agency or criminal justice agency as defined by K.S.A. 22-4701, and amendments thereto, compiled in the process of preventing, detecting or investigating violations of criminal law, but does not include police blotter entries, court records, rosters of inmates of jails or other correctional or detention facilities or records pertaining to violations of any traffic law other than vehicular homicide as defined by K.S.A. 21-3405, prior to its repeal, or K.S.A. 21-5406, and amendments thereto.

(f) "Custodian" means the official custodian or any person designated by the official custodian to carry out the duties of custodian of this act.

(g) "Cybersecurity assessment" means an investigation undertaken by a person, governmental body or other entity to identify vulnerabilities in cybersecurity plans.

(h) "Cybersecurity plan" means information about a person's information systems, network security, encryption, network mapping, access control, passwords, authentication practices, computer hardware or software or response to cybersecurity incidents.

(i) "Cybersecurity vulnerability" means a deficiency within computer hardware or software, or within a computer network or information system, that could be exploited by unauthorized parties for use against an individual computer user or a computer network or information system.

(j) "Official custodian" means any officer or employee of a public agency who is responsible for the maintenance of public records, regardless of whether such records are in the officer's or employee's actual personal custody and control.

(k) (1) "Public agency" means the state or any political or taxing subdivision of the state or any office, agency or instrumentality thereof, or any other entity receiving or expending and supported in whole or in part by the public funds appropriated by the state or by public funds of any political or taxing subdivision of the state.

(2) "Public agency" does not include:

(A) Any entity solely by reason of payment from public funds for property, goods or services of such entity; or

(B) any municipal judge, judge of the district court, judge of the court of appeals or justice of the supreme court.

(l) (1) "Public record" means any recorded information, regardless of form, characteristics or location, that is made, maintained or kept by or is in the possession of:

(A) Any public agency; or

(B) any officer or employee of a public agency pursuant to the officer's or employee's official duties and that is related to the functions, activities, programs or operations of any public agency.

(2) "Public record" includes, but is not limited to, an agreement in settlement of litigation involving the Kansas public employees retirement system and the investment of moneys of the fund.

(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1), "public record" does not include:

(A) Records that are owned by a private person or entity and are not related to functions, activities, programs or operations funded by public funds. As used in this subparagraph, "private person" does not include an officer or employee of a public agency who is acting pursuant to the officer's or employee's official duties;

(B) records that are made, maintained or kept by an individual who is a member of the legislature or of the governing body of any political or taxing subdivision of the state; or

(C) records of employers related to the employer's individually identifiable contributions made on behalf of employees for workers compensation, social security, unemployment insurance or retirement. The provisions of this subparagraph shall not apply to records of employers of lump-sum payments for contributions as described in this subparagraph paid for any group, division or section of an agency.

(m) "Undercover agent" means an employee of a public agency responsible for criminal law enforcement who is engaged in the detection or investigation of violations of criminal law in a capacity where such employee's identity or employment by the public agency is secret.

History: L. 1984, ch. 187, § 3; L. 1992, ch. 321, § 22; L. 1994, ch. 293, § 4; L. 2005, ch. 126, § 7; L. 2011, ch. 30, § 191; L. 2016, ch. 82, § 10; L. 2021, ch. 82, § 10; L. 2022, ch. 48, § 1; July 1.

Law Review and Bar Journal References:

"Letting the Sunshine In: An Analysis of the 1984 Kansas Open Records Act," Ted P. Frederickson, 33 K.L.R. 205 (1985).

"Hazardous Waste Regulation in the United States a Mind-Numbing Journey," James O. Neet, Jr., 61 J.K.B.A. No. 1, 31, 34 (1992).

"Kansas Sunshine Law: How Bright Does It Shine Now? The Kansas Open Meetings and Open Records Acts," Theresa "Terry" Marcel, 72 J.K.B.A. No. 5, 28 (2003).

"Disappearing Fee Awards and Civil Enforcement of Public Records Laws," Katrina G. Hall, 52 K.L.R. 721 (2004).

Attorney General's Opinions:

Rosters of inmates not subject to exception for criminal investigation records. 84-124.

Automobiles and other vehicles; maximum speed limits; certain violations not matters of public records; disclosure of records. 85-7.

Taxation; property valuation, equalization; assessment; records open to public inspection. 85-36.

Records open to public; access to city department reports. 85-156.

Records open to public; disclosure of coroner's records. 86-5.

Records subject to disclosure. 86-43.

Public agency defined. 86-48.

Records subject to disclosure. 86-101.

Code of professional responsibility; privileged communications. 87-23.

Law enforcement records; jail book, standard offense report, mug shots. 87-25.

Access to records filed under U.C.C. 87-50.

Breath test machine results log is criminal investigation record; not required to be disclosed to public. 87-63.

Crime of "unlawful disclosure of a warrant" prohibits disclosure, before execution of warrant, of complaint which leads to arrest warrant issuance. 87-100.

Hospital board member has right of access to personnel file of staff physician or other county hospital employee. 87-109.

Prohibited and illegal uses of names and addresses derived from public records. 87-137.

Criminal history record information; disclosure of pending charges and scheduled court date. 87-145.

Records open to public; correspondence received by members of public bodies. 87-149.

Laws, journals and public information; records open to public; registration of attorneys. 87-168.

Racing commission; licensure; open records act; confidential information. 88-3.

Municipal hospitals; open records act; employee names and salaries. 88-61.

Open records act; certain laboratory records not required to be open. 88-88.

Identity of persons transported by emergency medical vehicles; physician-patient privilege. 88-101.

Letter of notice to attorneys who fail to timely pay registration fee. 88-117.

Disclosure of voter registration lists; lists on computers. 88-152.

Department of commerce; low-income housing tax credit program. 89-46.

Personnel records, sheriff's office. 89-107.

Utility or other public service records; revenue department's records on tax exemptions and refunds. 90-20.

Board of education clerk; appointment and duties; custody of records; public records. 90-89.

Legislative post audit reports; status under Kansas open records act. 90-92.

Discretionary disclosure of certain personnel records; state agencies; criminal identification and detection. 90-136.

Certain records not open to public; personnel records; invasion of privacy. 91-50.

Recordation of death certificates with county register of deeds; open public records. 91-87.

Open public records; records compiled on radon testing; records pertaining to identifiable individuals. 91-106.

Open public records; ability of state agent to contractually close record not otherwise closed by law; legislative post audit; access to records, limitations. 91-116.

Open public records; internal civil investigation of state employee; veterans affairs commission; appointment, powers and duties of executive director; employees. 91-127.

Open public records; records obtained by legislative post audit; duty of confidentiality imposed by law; audit work papers. 91-138.

Legislative post audit committee to contract with firm or firms to perform financial compliance audits; public records; audit working papers of such contracted private firms. 91-157.

Legislative post audit; open public records; duty of confidentiality; mortgage credit certificate program records. 91-158.

Expungement; release of records to victim; certain records not required to be open. 92-27.

Open public records; criminal investigation records; invasion of personal privacy; victim specific information on alleged sexual offense. 92-149.

Open public records; requests; responses; refusals; fees. 93-126.

Insurance verification pilot project; information network of Kansas; charges for services rendered. 93-132.

Provisions of diversion agreements; open public records. 94-7.

Confidentiality of information concerning juvenile offenders age 14 and older. 95-94.

Public records; application of open records act; effect of review of record in executive session. 95-119.

District court judges telephone records not open records hereunder. 96-77.

Election petitions, once filed, are generally open public records. 97-22.

National collegiate athletic association is not a "public agency." 97-64.

Open public records; board of accountancy; correspondence. 97-76.

Ad Astra funds are not subject to open records act or open meetings act. 97-85.

Application of Kansas Open Records Act to information in Kansas Standard Offense Report and Standard Arrest Report. 1998-38.

Public records; unlawful use of information; standing requests prospective in nature; unreasonable burden. 1998-51.

Records of attorney's investigation for community college protected by attorney-client privilege. 1999-48.

Consulting contract not closed under Kansas open records act as personnel record. 1999-55.

Not-for-profit corporation, although receiving some public funds, is not subject to Kansas open meetings act. 1999-64.

Members of medical advisory board are "officers and employees" for purposes of Kansas open records act. 2000-8.

Application of open records act and open meetings act to Finney county economic development corporation. 2001-13.

Release of information from nongovernmental sources by Legislative Post Audit. 2001-18.

Prison health services is not a public agency. 2001-22.

Electronic mail (e-mail) may qualify as "public record" under KORA but e-mail between individual city commissioners, which is not made or maintained through city resources, is not a public record. 2002-1.

Independent of KORA, school board is obligated to publish names, positions and salaries of superintendent and department heads of school district. 2003-3.

Discusses whether records of "custody time," the amount of time a person has been incarcerated, are open or closed depending on holder of records. 2002-29.

City of Olathe not prohibited from providing water utilization and billing information to Johnson County. 2002-55.

"Paid Loss Reporting Forms" is public record available for public inspection. 2004-1.

Sheltered Living, Inc. is not a public entity and is not subject to provisions of KOMA and KORA. 2004-34.

Kansas Department of Animal Health may cooperate with federal officials in creating a registry of livestock producers, but information obtained by department must be treated as confidential by department. 2005-21.

Insurance rate filings submitted to Kansas insurance department are open records even though such rates in bid proposal. 2008-3.

County public record; contract with private company to provide access to records by computer. 2009-14.

Custodian cannot require a requestor to sign a certification unless the records contain a list of names and addresses or such list can be derived from the records. 2009-18.

State employees who send private emails are not a "public agency" within the meaning of the KORA and such private emails are not public records subject to the provisions of KORA. 2015-10.


1. Disclosure of K.B.I. reports to racing license applicants as permissible under K.S.A. 74-8804 and subject to K.O.R.A. (K.S.A. 45-215 et seq.) examined. Kansas Racing Management, Inc., v. Kansas Racing Comm'n, 244 Kan. 343, 351, 770 P.2d 423 (1989).

2. District coroner's office and investigative materials, working papers and records subject to open records act. Burroughs v. Thomas, 23 Kan. App. 2d 769, 770, 771, 937 P.2d 12 (1997).

3. Non-profit hospital administrator's financial records relating to hospital leased from county board of trustees of hospital are "public records," as defined in the Kansas open records act. State v. Great Plains of Kiowa Cnty., Inc., 53 Kan. App. 2d 609, 389 P.3d 984 (2017), rev. granted (May 18, 2017).

4. A managing entity contracted by a county hospital board serves as an instrumentality of the county government and thus falls under the definition of a public agency under the Kansas open records act. State v. Great Plains of Kiowa Cty., Inc., 308 Kan. 950, 954, 425 P.3d 290 (2018).

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