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CORA Requests

With certain exceptions, the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) requires disclosure of public documents. Public documents are generally defined as an existing written or electronic document made, maintained or kept by a state agency for use in a government function or purpose. Exceptions are set out in the Colorado Open Records Act, and may also be found in the organic act covering the programs administered by DORA. Records requests should be directed to the record custodian for the Division or office that maintains the records you are seeking.

  DORA's Public Records Policy pdf file

FAQ's

What is a “public record”?

How do I request records from DORA or any of its Divisions?

May I inspect records in person?

How will I know what the costs of the public records will be?

Is there always a charge for accessing records?

Why is there a cost to the public to access records?

What information is exempt from release?

If a record contains some confidential information, is the custodian required to block out or “redact” the confidential portions of the record?

How long will it take me to get copies of records I request?

What if my request for access to records is denied?

 

Records Custodians

Department of Regulatory Agencies

Cory Everett

Division of Banking

Kara Hunter

Colorado Civil Rights Division

Jennifer McPherson

Division of Financial Services

Chris Myklebust

Division of Insurance

Steve Giampaolo

Division of Real Estate

Cory Nicholson

Division of Professions and Occupations

Cory Everett

Division of Securities

Jerry Rome

Office of Consumer Counsel

Cindy Schonhaut

Public Utilities Commission

Doug Dean

 

 

What is a “public record”?

With certain exceptions, a “public record” subject to disclosure is an existing written or electronic document made, maintained or kept by a state agency for use in a government function or purpose. Exceptions are set out in the Colorado Open Records Act, and may also be found in the organic act covering the programs administered by DORA. For instance, the Real Estate Commission laws allow for closure of complaints of record and results of staff investigations in the discretion of the Commission during the investigatory period and until dismissed or until notice of hearing and charges are served on a licensee.

How do I request records from DORA or any of its Divisions?

In order for accurate tracking and timely response, all requests for records need to be submitted in writing. If you know the Division holding the public records you wish to receive, please submit the request to the Division Custodian for that Division. If you don’t know or are unsure which Division holds the records you wish to see, you may send your request to the Department Custodian.

May I inspect records in person?

Yes, in your written Colorado Open Records request, you may request to inspect public records, rather than obtain copies. If the public records are readily available, the date and time for inspection will be set by the Division Custodian. If the records are in use, in storage or otherwise not readily available, you will be advised of that fact as well as when the records will be made available.

How will I know what the costs of the public records will be?

The Colorado Open Records Act allows for public agencies to recoup actual, reasonable costs to retrieve and provide those documents available to the public. If your request is twenty pages or less and takes less than an hour of staff time to prepare, the requested documents are free of charge. If your request is over twenty pages, takes more than an hour to compile, requires that documents be brought in from off-site, or if in order to comply with the request DORA staff would need to modify the content of the documents, costs will be assessed based upon the following schedule: Below is a list of costs associated with various functions to produce a request.

 

Photo Copying: $0.25 per image (applies to a request with more than 20 pages.)*
DORA Staff Time: $25.00 per hour (applies after the first hour if it takes more than one hour of staff time to fulfill the request)

Retrieval of Documents: $28.00 per box.

 

*A fee of twenty five cents ($0.25) per standard page and fifty cents ($0.50) per double-sided page will be charged except as otherwise specifically provided by law, as is the case of the Public Utilities Commission which will charge twenty cents ($0.20) per standard page for copies of records pursuant to §40-6-105,

 

Printing fees may still apply when records are transmitted electronically if it is necessary for the custodian to print documents in order to redact exempt information and/or scan the record to create an electronic file.  

 

 

Estimation and Payment of Fees:  Prior to responding to a CORA request, the Division Custodian or Department Custodian will estimate the costs associated with responding to the request, including estimated legal fees, if any, and provide an estimate of costs to the requestor.  Unless the fees are waived, the information will not be copied, retrieved, redacted or manipulated until payment is received.

Is there always a charge for accessing records?

No. DORA does not charge a fee if your request is twenty pages or less and takes less than an hour of staff time to compile. In some cases, depending upon the request, the fees may be reduced or waived. For example, requests for public records in connection with public interest research by a bona fide nonprofit research organization would be eligible for fee waivers or reductions. To request consideration of a waiver or reduction of fees, please contact the respective Division Custodian or the Department Custodian. Fee waivers or reductions will be uniformly applied among persons who are similarly situated.

Why is there a cost to the public to access records?

The Colorado Open Records statute acknowledges that there are real costs associated with the disclosure of public records, such as staff time to assemble, review and evaluate records for exempt information and copy costs. DORA is authorized to recover those actual costs through fees.

What information is exempt from release?

Colorado law recognizes many types of information that may, or must, remain closed to public inspection. Personally identifying information, such as social security number, home phone number or home address, as well as medical or mental health data is exempt from release to the public. As such, basic privacy interests are protected.In addition, CORA closes other categories of public records from inspection, such as proprietary and other confidential information. Also, other Colorado statutes governing the programs administered by DORA require that specific kinds of information be closed to inspection, such as some information in connection with pending disciplinary investigations.

If a record contains some confidential information, is the custodian required to block out or “redact” the confidential portions of the record?

In general, CORA does not require that an agency redact exempt information. Records with mixed information may lawfully be closed to inspection. However, the custodian may review the records and decide if it is appropriate and practical to redact the confidential portion and release otherwise public information.

How long will it take me to get copies of records I request?

Records which are readily available must be released within three business days of the request.If the volume of records requested is overly broad or voluminous, such that it will take more time to assemble, review and evaluate the records, or if the records are stored off site, then an extension allowing up to seven additional business days is allowed. If an extension is necessary, you will be advised as soon as possible prior to the expiration of the initial three day period.A more specific request (for a single record for which you know the date and title) may not take long to retrieve. A general request (all records on a certain topic, or within an extended period of time) will typically take longer to retrieve.

What if my request for access to records is denied?

If the request for records is denied, the notice of denial will state the reasons for closure. The Colorado Open Records Act prescribes certain remedies should you wish to pursue them.

 

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(303) 894-2320 - Phone (303) 861-2126 - Fax