2022 Wyoming Statutes
Title 16 - City, County, State and Local Powers
Chapter 4 - Uniform Municipal Fiscal Procedures; Public Records, Documents and Meetings
Article 2 - Public Records
Section 16-4-201 - Definitions; Short Title; Designation of Ombudsman.

Universal Citation: WY Stat § 16-4-201 (2022)

16-4-201. Definitions; short title; designation of ombudsman.

(a) As used in this act:

(i) "Custodian" means the official custodian or any authorized person having personal custody and control of the public records in question;

(ii) "Official custodian" means any officer or employee of a governmental entity, who is responsible for the maintenance, care and keeping of public records, regardless of whether the records are in his actual personal custody and control;

(iii) "Person in interest" means the person who is the subject of a record or any representative designated by the person, except if the subject of the record is under legal disability or is the dependent high school student of his parents, "person in interest" means the parent or duly appointed legal representative;

(iv) "Political subdivision" means every county, city and county, city, incorporated and unincorporated town, school district and special district within the state;

(v) "Public records" when not otherwise specified includes any information in a physical form created, accepted, or obtained by a governmental entity in furtherance of its official function and transaction of public business which is not privileged or confidential by law. Without limiting the foregoing, the term "public records" includes any written communication or other information, whether in paper, electronic, or other physical form, received by a governmental entity in furtherance of the transaction of public business of the governmental entity, whether at a meeting or outside a meeting. Electronic communications solely between students attending a school in Wyoming and electronic communications solely between students attending a school in Wyoming and a sender or recipient using a nonschool user address are not a public record of that school. As used in this paragraph, a "school in Wyoming" means the University of Wyoming, any community college and any public school within a school district in the state;

(vi) Public records shall be classified as follows:

(A) "Official public records" includes all original vouchers, receipts and other documents necessary to isolate and prove the validity of every transaction relating to the receipt, use and disposition of all public property and public income from all sources whatsoever; all agreements and contracts to which a governmental entity is a party; all fidelity, surety and performance bonds; all claims filed against a governmental entity; all records or documents required by law to be filed with or kept by a governmental entity of Wyoming; and all other documents or records determined by the records committee to be official public records;

(B) "Office files and memoranda" includes all records, correspondence, exhibits, books, booklets, drawings, maps, blank forms, or documents not defined and classified in subparagraph (A) of this subsection as official public records; all duplicate copies of official public records filed with any governmental entity; all documents and reports made for the internal administration of the office to which they pertain but not required by law to be filed or kept with the office; and all other documents or records, determined by the records committee to be office files and memoranda.

(vii) Repealed By Laws 2012, Ch. 74, § 2.

(viii) "This act" means W.S. 16-4-201 through 16-4-205;

(ix) "Application" means a written request for a public record. However, a designated public records person may in his discretion deem a verbal request to be an application;

(x) "Information" means opinions, facts, or data of any kind and in whatever physical form kept or maintained, including, but not limited to, written, aural, visual, electronic or other physical form;

(xi) "Peace officer recording" means any audio or video data recorded by a peace officer, as defined in W.S. 6-1-104(a)(vi), on a camera or other device which is:

(A) Provided to or used by the peace officer in the course of the officer performing official business; and

(B) Designed to be worn on the peace officer's body or attached to a vehicle, as defined in W.S. 6-1-104(a)(xi), used by the officer.

(xii) "Designated public records person" means the person designated as required by W.S. 16-4-202(e) or that person's designee;

(xiii) "Governmental entity" means the state of Wyoming, an agency, political subdivision or state institution of Wyoming;

(xiv) "Ombudsman" means the person designated by the governor as required by subsection (c) of this section.

(b) This act shall be known and may be cited as the "Public Records Act."

(c) The governor shall designate an ombudsman for purposes of this act. The ombudsman shall:

(i) Receive complaints as provided under this act;

(ii) Upon request of either party, mediate disputes between a governmental entity and an applicant for a public record;

(iii) Keep confidential all records submitted by a governmental entity;

(iv) Provide uniform interpretation and training on the ombudsman's role and recommendations under this act to governmental entities and the general public;

(v) Have other authority and duties as provided in this act.

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