2016 Mississippi Code
Title 25 - Public Officers and Employees; Public Records
Chapter 61 - Public Access to Public Records
§ 25-61-5. Public access to records; written explanation required when records cannot be produced within specified time; form and retention of denials

MS Code § 25-61-5 (2016) What's This?

(1) (a) Except as otherwise provided by Sections 25-61-9 and 25-61-11, all public records are hereby declared to be public property, and any person shall have the right to inspect, copy or mechanically reproduce or obtain a reproduction of any public record of a public body in accordance with reasonable written procedures adopted by the public body concerning the cost, time, place and method of access, and public notice of the procedures shall be given by the public body, or, if a public body has not adopted written procedures, the right to inspect, copy or mechanically reproduce or obtain a reproduction of a public record of the public body shall be provided within one (1) working day after a written request for a public record is made. No public body shall adopt procedures which will authorize the public body to produce or deny production of a public record later than seven (7) working days from the date of the receipt of the request for the production of the record.

(b) If a public body is unable to produce a public record by the seventh working day after the request is made, the public body must provide a written explanation to the person making the request stating that the record requested will be produced and specifying with particularity why the records cannot be produced within the seven-day period. Unless there is mutual agreement of the parties, or the information requested is part of ongoing negotiations related to a request for competitive sealed proposals, in no event shall the date for the public body's production of the requested records be any later than fourteen (14) working days from the receipt by the public body of the original request. Production of competitive sealed proposals in accordance with requests made pursuant to this section shall be no later than seven (7) working days after the notice of intent to award is issued to the winning proposer. Persons making a request for production of competitive sealed proposals after the notice of intent to award is issued by the public body shall have a reasonable amount of time, but in no event less than seven (7) working days after the production of the competitive sealed proposals, to protest the procurement or intended award prior to contract execution.

(2) If any public record contains material which is not exempted under this chapter, the public agency shall redact the exempted material and make the nonexempted material available for examination. Such public agency shall be entitled to charge a reasonable fee for the redaction of any exempted material, not to exceed the agency's actual cost.

(3) Denial by a public body of a request for access to or copies of public records under this chapter shall be in writing and shall contain a statement of the specific exemption relied upon by the public body for the denial. Each public body shall maintain a file of all denials of requests for public records. Public bodies shall be required to preserve such denials on file for not less than three (3) years from the date such denials are made. This file shall be made available for inspection or copying, or both, during regular office hours to any person upon written request.

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