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Oregon Public Records Law



Who is subject to Public Records Law?

The law applies to every public body, including every state officer, agency, department, bureau, board, and commission, as well as every county and city governing body, school district, special district, municipal corporation, or any board, department, commission, council or agency thereof.

What is a public record?

With a few exceptions, all government records of any kind are considered public records. A public record is any writing with information about the conduct of public business that is prepared, owned, used or retained by a public body.

Can a government agency charge citizens for copies of public records?

Public agencies may charge a fee to recover the cost of fulfilling a records request. You may be required to cover the costs of compiling records up front. Fees are sometimes waived or reduced if doing so is in the public interest. You can appeal a public agency’s refusal to waive the fee.

Are all public records subject to disclosure?

Most public records are subject to disclosure, but there are exemptions. Records related to an active criminal investigation are exempt from disclosure until the case is resolved. Confidential communications between government officials and government lawyers are also exempt from disclosure. Public agencies that deny public records requests must show that their denials are consistent with the law. For a list of exemptions and a discussion of their application, visit the Attorney General’s Public Records and Meetings Manual.