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Legal Division: Litigation

The Oklahoma Open Records Act

There are 2 key provisions of the Oklahoma Open Records Act as it relates to officers and employees of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS).

A link to the complete provisions of the Open Records Act as well as the Open Meetings Act is provided here.

  1. The Oklahoma Open Records Act provides that any person may see certain personnel records, while permitting agencies to treat other items as confidential.

    51 O.S. §24A.7 provides:
    1. A public body may keep personnel records confidential:
      1. Which relate to internal personnel investigations including examination and selection material for employment, hiring, appointment, promotion, demotion, discipline or resignation; or:
      2. Where disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy such as employee evaluations, payroll deductions, employment applications submitted by persons not hired by the public body, and transcripts from institutions of higher education maintained in the personnel files of certified public school employees; provided, however, that nothing in this subsection shall be construed to exempt from disclosure the degree obtained and the curriculum on the transcripts of certified public school employees.
    2. All personnel records not specifically falling within the exceptions provided in subsection A of this section shall be available for public inspection and copying including, but not limited to, records of:
      1. An employment application of a person who becomes a public official;
      2. The gross receipts of public funds;
      3. The dates of employment, title or position; and
      4. Any final disciplinary action resulting in loss of pay, suspension, demotion of position or termination.
    3. Except as may otherwise be made confidential by statute; an employee of a public body shall have a right of access to his own personnel file.
    4. Public bodies shall keep confidential the home address of any person employed or formerly employed by the public body.

  2. Home addresses, home telephone numbers and social security numbers of employees have special protection in the Oklahoma Personnel Act. A court order or written permission of the current or former state employee is required for disclosure.

    74 O.S. §840-2.11 provides: The home addresses, home telephone numbers and social security numbers of current and former state employees shall not be open to public inspection or disclosure without written permission from the current or former state employees or without an order from a court of competent jurisdiction.
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