Policy on Compliance with the Alabama Open Records Act, ALA. CODE § 36-12-40-40
It is the policy of the Personnel Board of Jefferson County to comply with the Alabama Open Records Act, Ala. Code § 36-12-40 (1975).
All requests for copies of records or documents must be made in writing on a form prescribed by the Director. The form shall require the requesting party to identify him/her/itself, the reasons or purposes for which the documents or information are sought, and a specific description of the documents or information sought. The Director shall review the request and make all decisions relating to the documents or information that should or should not be disclosed in response to the request.
The Director shall exercise sound professional judgment to disclose public information appropriately in accordance with the Act. The Director shall not disclose personal information which, if disclosed, would expose individuals to a material risk of identity theft, invasions of privacy, or other unlawful acts. Examples of information to be withheld or redacted include: social security numbers and dates of birth; home addresses; names of children and other family members; and any other information as to which the Director concludes the public informational value is outweighed by the individual privacy interests involved. The Director generally should apply redactions to protect personal information rather than withholding documents altogether, unless redaction is not practicable.
The Director may withhold and refuse to disclose any materials relating to the job analysis and test development procedures that would tend to disclose the content of any examination, to give any test-taker an advantage, or in any other manner compromise test security or confidentiality.
The Act does not require the PBJC Director or staff to research, identify, search, create, organize, extract, summarize, or mail public information or information from public documents. Requests to perform research of this nature will generally be denied.
The requesting party shall pay any reasonable costs incurred by the PBJC in complying with the request. Standard 8-1/2” x 11” black and white photocopies shall be charged at a rate of $1.00 per page for the first 20 pages, and $0.25 per page for pages in excess of 20. Oversize, color, or other types of copies shall be charged at cost plus 20% handling fee. Compact discs will be charged at $3.00 each. Other expenses and/or services will be billed at the actual cost, plus a 20% handling fee. The Director may require advance payment before incurring any costs when the cost is anticipated to exceed twenty dollars ($20.00). In all cases, the Director will require the requesting party to make full payment before receiving any information responsive to the request.
Policy on Audio and Video Recording of Public Meetings and Proceedings.
As a public governmental entity, the Personnel Board of Jefferson County conducts its business meetings in public, in accordance with the Alabama Open Meetings Act, Ala. Code § 36-25A-1, et seq. In addition, under the PBJC’s Enabling Legislation, the PBJC and its hearing officers are required to conduct certain disciplinary hearings in public.
This policy is intended to implement and comply with the last sentence of this section of the Act.
As a general matter, PBJC does not prohibit individuals present at meetings and disciplinary hearings from making audio or video recordings of the proceedings. All such recording must be conducted openly. In certain circumstances, however, recording may be prohibited or subjected to appropriate conditions.
To ensure that any audio or video recording is conducted “openly,” any person making an audio or video recording must inform the Chairman, Hearing Officer, or other presiding officer before commencing recording. The presiding officer at the meeting or hearing may require that the individual making the recording do so in a manner that does not unduly disrupt or distract from the proceedings. As an example, the presiding officer may order that the individual making the recording remain stationary in the rear of the meeting or hearing room, and/or may require that any set-up or take-down of the recording equipment occur before or after the proceedings.
In circumstances where the further publication, dissemination or broadcasting of the audio or video recording could bring undue publicity, scandal, or disrepute to any person, or where private personally identifying information will be revealed or discussed, the presiding officer may temporarily halt or prohibit audio or video recording.
In all circumstances, the official record of the public meeting or hearing shall be the official minutes, resolutions, orders, transcripts, and other recordings kept and maintained by the PBJC and its staff in accordance with Section 4 of the Open Meetings Act.
Finally, any individual making an audio or video recording is responsible for his or her own actions in connection with the recording and any subsequent actions taken in connection with the record. The PBJC shall not be liable or responsible for any legal consequences arising out of any further transmission, duplication, or publication of any such audio or video record. The PBJC expressly disclaims any legal liability that may be imposed upon any person arising out of any publication, dissemination or broadcasting of the audio or video recording.