Public Records Request
What is a Public Records Request?
As an Idaho public institution of higher education, Idaho State University follows the provisions of the Idaho Public Records law, granting individuals the right to examine any public records maintained by the institution, except for those records which are statutorily exempt.
A public record includes, but is not limited to, any writing containing information relating to the conduct of administration of the public’s business prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristic.
Submitting a Public Records Request
To submit a public records request to ISU:
Public Records Request Information
- The University will provide records based on the description received in a records request.
- The majority of records requests are completed by the University at no charge. However, fees may occur when requests are labor intensive due to a high volume of documents and/or redactions, etc.
- Prepaid Fees - All fees must be prepaid and received by the University before a records request can be processed.
- Time Spent Fees - Pursuant to Idaho Code § 74-102(10)(b)(iii) requests that take longer than 2 hours of an employee's time to gather and/or copy documents will be charged based on the associated employee's hourly rate.
- Redaction Fees - Pursuant to Idaho Code § 74-102(10)(b)(ii) requests containing nonpublic information will have the nonpublic information redacted. Public records are reviewed by the General Counsel's Office for redactions and the requester will be charged for the service based on the attorney's hourly rate.
- Paper Copy Fees - Pursuant to Idaho Code § 74-102(10)(b)(i) requests resulting in more than 100 pages of printed records will be charged $0.05 per page. There is no charge for electronic records.
Note: All requests made to ISU may themselves be subject to release as a public record.
Pursuant to I.C. §74-120, requests for information may NOT be used for any commercial purpose or as a mailing list.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you keep my request for records confidential?
No, your public records request is not a confidential record. Your request is itself a public record. It can be requested by others and the office forwards public records requests to the departments holding records and to third parties who have an interest in the records you have requested.
What happens when I make a public records request?
The request is received by the Office of General Counsel who will then collect all responsive documents and return them to you.
- Some document are exempt from public records
- If the collection of documents takes more than 2 labor hours you may incur a fee
What information is exempt from Public Records Requests?
Certain personnel records, FERPA protected documents, medical records, confidential legal advice, records prepared in connection with litigation, and information that may be kept confidential pursuant to other state or federal statutes.
What should my request include?
It is helpful to be as specific as possible by including date parameters, type of information sought, department name or unit and/or name of employee.
Can I drop in to inspect the records that I want?
The volume of requests received by ISU does not permit instant response to records requests. There is no public counter service for on-demand, same day public records inspections; nor does the law require such a public counter. Identification and collection of potentially responsive records are only some of the steps involved in responding to requests. The collected records must be reviewed to ensure that they are in fact responsive to the request and to assess whether they are subject to redaction to protect the privacy rights of others and consistent with applicable legal privileges & exemptions. Each of the steps in the process takes time. When records requests are available for release, we will contact you. If you prefer to inspect the records before paying for physical copies, we are happy to set up a mutually convenient time for such an inspection.
What are examples of records that could be included in a request?
- Written documents (e.g., notes taken during a staff meeting)
- Email (even if sent from a personal computer or phone as long as it relates to university business)
- Sound recordings
- PowerPoint presentations
- Text messages (regardless of where the text originated, as long as it relates to university business)
Can a request be rejected for being "overboard" or for lacking specificity?
No. As long as the person making the request provides enough information for ISU to identify the records, ISU is obligated to furnish copies or allow the inspection of the records requested. However, a fee may be assessed if it takes ISU more than 2 labor hours to gather all of the documents.
Is the University required to create records that do not exist in order to comply with a public request?
No. In response to a public request, we are only responsible for providing existing documents and records that are maintained by the University.
Purpose of the Idaho Public Records Law:
"…The intent of the law is that all records maintained by state and local government entities be available for public access and copying. At the same time, the Legislature recognized the need to balance this policy of openness against the equally important need for privacy of certain information provided by citizens and businesses that is necessary for the conduct of the government’s business.1 This balance is contained in Idaho Code § 74-102, which states that 'all public records in Idaho are open at all reasonable times for inspection except as otherwise expressly provided by statute.'" (Wasden, Lawrence, (July 2018), Office of the Attorney General Idaho Public Records Law Manual Idaho Code §§ 74-101 through 74-126, p.1,
The Office of the Attorney General - Idaho Public Records Law Manual is available at:
Our Address Whitney Fenwick
Administration 321 Phone: (208) 282-3234
921 S. 8th Ave., STOP 8410 Fax: (208) 282-4821
Pocatello, ID 83209-8410 Email: email@example.com