Public Records Policy
Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc. (“Triumph Gulf Coast”) fully embraces the letter and spirit of the Florida Public Records Law, chapter 119, Florida Statutes, governing the public’s right to access records held by Triumph Gulf Coast, and the constitutional right of access guaranteed by Article I, s. 24(a), Florida Constitution. In support of the public’s right to access such records, Triumph Gulf Coast hereby establishes the following public records policy. The guidelines explained below are set forth to inform and guide Triumph Gulf Coast staff and board members in the implementation of the Public Records Law and provide uniformity in providing access and charging fees for inspection and copies of public records.
Article I, section 24, Florida Constitution
Chapter 119, Florida Statutes
Chapter 286, Florida Statutes
The term “Public Records” means all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, films, sound recordings, data processing software, or other material, regardless of the physical form, characteristics, or means of transmission, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any agency.
Records Exempt from Disclosure
Triumph Gulf Coast is responsible for protecting information defined as confidential or as otherwise prohibited from public inspection or copying under the Public Records Law. All exemptions to the Public Records Law can be found in the Florida Statutes.
If the entirety of a requested record is exempt, Triumph Gulf Coast has the responsibility to deny the request outright. However, Triumph Gulf Coast must inform the requestor when a request cannot be filled due to an exemption which prevents disclosure. Upon request, Triumph Gulf Coast must provide the basis for the exemption and its statutory citation.
If a record contains both exempt and non-exempt information, the exempt information shall be redacted (or removed) from the record and the remainder shall be provided to the requestor.
Public Records Requests
Public records requests shall be accepted in writing, by electronic mail, by telephone, by facsimile, or in person. While a request is not required to be made in writing, a written request will help Triumph Gulf Coast provide a more accurate response in a shorter period of time.
If the request is insufficient to identify the records sought, the provider should help the requestor clarify the request. The provider may ask the requestor to complete forms to assist in defining or documenting the facts necessary for completing records requests; however, the requestor is not obligated to complete these forms as a condition for obtaining the public records requested. Requests for records should be accepted and records made accessible for inspection or duplication during Triumph Gulf Coast’s normal business hours.
Public Records Request Procedure
All public records requests should be directed to the custodian of records in care of the Executive Director. The custodian of records is Allan Bense. Requests should be directed to: Alan Bense, c/o Susan Skelton, Executive Director, Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., P.O. Box 12007 Tallahassee, Florida 32317, [email protected] The records custodian shall keep a log of all public records requests received. This log shall include the date of request, the initials of staff member who received the request, name of requestor, description of records requested, date of completion, and initials of staff member who completed request.
If a public records request is made by phone or in person, regardless of who receives it, then the custodian of records shall follow up with the requestor in writing to acknowledge receipt of the request and to confirm the substance of their request.
Upon receipt of a public records request, the custodian of records shall promptly acknowledge receipt of the request in writing as soon as possible. In the acknowledgment, the custodian shall include information on copying costs, extensive use, etc.
If a public records request is forwarded to the custodian of records from a staff member or board member, the custodian shall promptly notify the requestor in writing that (s)he is the records custodian and that (s)he has been forwarded their request from said staff or board member.
- Should a staff or board member (other than public records custodian) receive a public records request, (s)he shall follow the procedure outlined below:If the request is verbal, the person receiving the request shall write down as much information regarding the request as possible; i.e. name of the person making the request including contact information, what documents are being requested, and any specific information, such as dollar amount threshold, delivery expectations, time expectations, etc.
- If the request is verbal or via electronic mail, the person receiving the request shall immediately inform the requestor that (s)he is not the records custodian. The staff or board member shall identify the records custodian, and inform the requestor that (s)he will forward their request to the records custodian, who will contact them about their request.
- Regardless of what form, the person receiving the request shall forward the request to the records custodian via email as soon as possible.
If a public records request is received via a non-Triumph Gulf Coast contact method, the person receiving the request shall follow the procedure detailed above with the additional steps outlined below:
- Advise you do not conduct business associated with Triumph Gulf Coast at this email address, phone number, etc.
- Advise that in the future they should contact you via Triumph Gulf Coast contact means.
- If received via email, forward the original email to Triumph Gulf Coast account so that it will be saved for public records purposes.
Format of Records Provided
Copies of public records will be made available to the public in the format in which Triumph Gulf Coast stores the records.
Triumph Gulf Coast Applications
Applications to Triumph Gulf Coast are generally considered public records. However, the public records law provides specific exemptions for sealed bids, proposals or replies received pursuant to a competitive solicitation, including the timing within which such documents are subject to applicable exemptions. In addition, financial statements provided as part of the Application are exempt from disclosure under the public records law.
Public Records Fees and Charge
The public records law allows Triumph Gulf Coast to collect a per copy fee or the actual cost for the materials and supplies used to duplicate records. In addition, Triumph Gulf Coast may collect a reasonable service charge when a request to inspect or copy public records requires the extensive use of technology resources and/or the extensive use of clerical or supervisory assistance.
If the nature or volume of public records requested to be inspected or copied is such as to require extensive use of information technology resources or extensive clerical or supervisory assistance by Triumph Gulf Coast personnel, Triumph Gulf Coast may charge, in addition to the actual cost of duplication, a special service charge, which shall be reasonable and shall be based on the cost incurred for such extensive use of information technology resources or the labor cost of the personnel providing the service that is actually incurred by the agency or attributable to the agency for the clerical and supervisory assistance required, or both.
A service charge for the extensive use of Triumph Gulf Coast resources will be imposed if a request to inspect or copy public records takes more than thirty (30) minutes to locate, review and/or redact exempt information, and copy the requested public records.
Multiple requests by one individual may be considered as one request and extensive use charges may be applied after the first thirty (30) minutes of staff or resource time.
The following fees are designed to ensure that Triumph Gulf Coast is consistent in its application of the law:
- Duplication Costs- Duplication costs shall be applied uniformly throughout Triumph Gulf Coast in compliance with the following guidelines, unless otherwise specified by Triumph Gulf Coast.
a. One Sided Paper Copies- $0.15 per page, up to legal size (8 1⁄2 x 14 inches)
b. Double Sided Paper Copies- $0.20 per page, up to legal size (8 1⁄2 x 14 inches)
c. Certified Paper Copies- $1.00 per page d.
d. Electronic Copies- Electronic files sent to a requestor via e-mail shall be provided at no charge.
e. All Other Copies- All other copies (larger size paper, CD, DVD, USB, etc) will be provided at the actual of the materials used to duplicate the record. f. Requestor Provided Media Prohibited- Triumph Gulf Coast will not accept CDs, DVDs, or USB drives (a.k.a. “thumb drives”) provided by requestors due to computer virus and computer security concerns.
2. Extensive Use Costs- Extensive use charges shall not be randomly or automatically applied. Rather, each public records request must be evaluated to determine if extensive use charges are warranted. Extensive use charges shall be applied in conformity with the following guidelines:
a. Labor Time – When extensive clerical and/or supervisory labor time is spent in the inspection or production of a public records request, a service charge for labor should be applied by computing the actual cost of providing such labor.
b. Information Technology Resources – Providers shall use the documented fee/charge methods established by their division, district, or office when charging for the extensive use of information technology resources and a copy of such documented method shall be provided upon request. Service charges shall be based on the actual cost incurred for such extensive use.
a. U.S. postage or other shipping costs incurred in the delivery of records shall be included in the costs charged to the requestor.
4. Fee Collection and Processing
a. When all allowable fees/charges applicable to a particular public records request can be calculated in advance, they should be collected prior to the provider investing significant information technology resources and/or clerical or supervisory assistance.
b. Where actual costs and extensive use fees cannot be immediately determined due to the nature of the request, the provider shall give an estimated cost for producing the records and inform the requestor that the actual cost may vary, but will not exceed the original estimate by more than an additional 25%. Providers should ensure estimates are accurate within 25% of the actual cost. The requestor accepts the cost estimate, and then the provider may fill the public records request. Once the records are ready, the provider shall notice the requestor of the cost and furnish the public records upon receipt of payment.
c. Should the requestor fail to pay the actual costs and/or extensive use charges incurred to produce the request, the provider shall refer the non-payment to its General Counsel for further action.
d. No sales tax is to be charged for a public records request.
e. Triumph Gulf Coast accepts payments in the form of checks or money orders made out to Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc.