COLORADO COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM
Open Records Requests
EFFECTIVE: November 3, 2014
REVISED: November 13, 2017
REVISED: September 13, 2023
RETITLED: September 13, 2023
RENUMBERED: September 13, 2023
REFERENCE(S): Board Policy (BP) 10-20, Open Records Requests
/ Joe Garcia /
Joseph A. Garcia, Chancellor
This procedure applies to the Colorado Community College System, including its Colleges (CCCS or System).
Board policy states the will comply with open records laws, and the Chancellor shall promulgate procedures as necessary. The provisions of this procedure set forth rules for the inspection of public records. These rules are reasonably necessary for the protection of such records and the prevention of unnecessary interference with the regular discharge of the duties of the Custodian of Records (Custodian) or the Custodian’s office. The System Office (SO), every College, and every requestor submitting a Colorado Open Records Request (CORA) shall adhere to the following procedures.
- The SO and Colleges shall designate an individual to serve as its Custodian.
- This Procedure must be published on the SO and College websites, along with a link to the site CORA request form and/or the e-mail and mailing address for the individual designated as Custodian.
- All CORA Requests must be submitted in writing to the Custodian. If the SO or College(s) obtain a request for records that are not in the custody or control of the entity, the requestor will be required to submit the request directly to the applicable entity. Requests made to any other person or office will not be accepted.
- Requests may be mailed. The date the request is received by the Custodian will be considered the “date of receipt.”
- Requests sent via e-mail will not automatically be accepted (except when delivered through a CORA Request linked e-mail). Due to spam filters and similar computer software, CCCS cannot guarantee that an e-mail request has been received by the Custodian. At the sole discretion of the Custodian, direct e-mail requests shall be deemed rejected unless and until the Custodian expressly confirms acceptance of the request. Should the Custodian accept an e-mail request, the statutory time for response will begin when the Custodian provides confirmation to the requestor. If a request is sent via e-mail to anyone other than the Custodian, or if the Custodian does not accept such an e-mail request, it will not be considered as received by the System or Colleges.
- All requests for records must be specific as to the records sought and the relevant dates. Requests for correspondence must identify the parties to the correspondence. For any request that is vague or broadly stated, the Custodian may require the requestor to provide a more specific request before responding.
- If a public record is requested to be delivered digitally, and is requested to be searchable, the Custodian will first determine whether it can be provided to the requestor in the format desired. If it cannot be provided in a searchable manner, the Custodian will still provide a copy of the record in a digital format, if available. The Custodian is not required to produce a public record in a searchable format if:
- Producing the record in the requested format would violate the terms of any copyright or licensing agreement between the System or College and a third party, or result in the release of a third party’s proprietary information;
- After making reasonable inquiries, the Custodian determines it is not technologically or practically feasible to permanently remove information that the Custodian is required or allowed to withhold within the requested format;
- It is not technologically or practically feasible to provide a copy of the record in a searchable format; or
- It would require purchasing software or creating additional programming or functionality in its existing software.
If the Custodian is not able to comply with a request to produce a public record digitally, the Custodian must produce the record in an alternate format or issue a denial pursuant to state statutory requirements, and must provide a written declaration attesting to the reasons the Custodian is not able to produce the record in the requested digital format.
- With exception to digital format requests, while not required, the Custodian may, at the Custodian’s sole discretion, choose to manipulate or analyze information in a way not used by the System to which the request is directed in order to respond to a request. For digital format requests, the Custodian shall alter an existing public record, or remove fields of information if the content is either required or permitted to be withheld. Additionally, the Custodian will produce a public record in a format accessible to individuals with disabilities.
- Time for response to CORA Requests that comply with this procedure shall be as follows:
- The normal time for production shall be three (3) working days, beginning on the first business day after the request is received by the Custodian.
- Such periods may be extended upon determination by the Custodian that extenuating circumstances exist. Such period of extension shall not normally exceed seven (7) working days. The requestor shall be notified of the extension within the original three-day period.
- These time periods for responding to requests shall not apply to (i) requests that do not comply with this procedure, (ii) requests that are broad or burdensome such that they interfere with regular work duties, or (iii) requests if the requestor has failed to pay the appropriate charges.
- CORA Requests shall not substantially interfere with the regular work activities of System or College employees.
- Charges for copies of requested records shall be as follows:
- The normal cost for requested documents shall be $0.25 per page or, for documents in non-standard formats, the actual duplication costs.
- Requestor shall not be charged a per page fee for records given in a digital or electronic format.
- At the Custodian’s sole discretion, the requestor may be charged a reasonable research, retrieval, and review fee based on the actual cost of responding to the request; provided, however, that the hourly rate for employee time is $33.58 per hour. There shall be no charge for the first hour of employee time.
- Where the record is a result of computer output other than word processing, the requestor will be charged, unless waived or reduced by the Custodian, the actual incremental costs of providing the electronic services and products together with a reasonable portion of the costs associated with building and maintaining the information system.
- Where the record is a result of such manipulation or analysis, the requestor will be charged, unless waived or reduced by the Custodian, the actual costs of creating the record. Persons directing subsequent requests for the same or similar records to the System or College may be charged a fee not in excess of the original fee.
- Unless waived by the Custodian, the requestor will be charged the cost of transmitting the records to the requestor by United States mail or other delivery service.
Payment must be received prior to the requestor receiving copies. Failure to make payment may result in delay in receiving the requested documents or the debt being referred to collections. A requestor who has failed to pay for past records requested must pay all outstanding charges before receiving additional records.
If the SO or College allow for credit card transactions or electronic payment, it must allow a Requestor for open records to utilize the same payment opportunity.
- If charges are expected to exceed $25, the Custodian will provide the requestor with an estimate of the cost of responding prior to responding and may require a deposit. If the requestor wishes to proceed once receiving an estimate, they must respond in writing. By responding in writing, the requestor agrees to pay all fees associated with responding to the request. The time between the date of the Custodian’s estimate and the receipt by the Custodian of a written response to proceed will not be counted against the time period set forth above.
- If a requestor wishes to inspect available records in advance of receiving copies, such inspection shall be by appointment only, during normal working hours. Such inspection shall occur on-site and may be supervised by a System or College representative.
- Subsequent to the approval of this procedure, if CORA is amended to modify the maximum amount of any charges described above, the procedure will be applied consistent with the provisions of such amendments.
 On July 1, 2019, and by July 1 of every five-year period thereafter, the director of research of the legislative council shall adjust this fee in accordance with the percentage change over the period in the United States department of labor, bureau of labor statistics, consumer price index for Denver-Aurora-Lakewood for all items and all urban consumers, or its successor index.
Every CORA Request must comply with this procedure. Custodians are not obligated to act upon a CORA Request unless and until the Request meets the requirements of this procedure.
Contacting the Custodian of Records
In addition to any requirements under this procedure and CORA, a request is preferred, but generally not required, to include the Requestor’s full name and mailing or e-mail address. Identification is only required when the Requestor is seeking confidential records or records accessible only to a “person in interest.” A Requestor’s name may be provided to personnel when the request involves information pertaining to them.
Revising this Procedure
CCCS reserves the right to change any provision or requirement of this procedure at any time and the change shall become effective immediately.