By: Emma Dolgos
In the information age, voters both want and expect access to information about candidates running for public office. The press plays a large role in disseminating such information, but only if they can get access to it.
The Kansas state legislature seemed to agree that the press needs information when they passed the Kansas Open Records Act (KORA). KORA not only stipulates that public records are to remain open for inspection “by any person,” but it also asserts that the act will be “liberally construed and applied” to advance the state’s policy. However, the statute includes a notable exception for personnel records. Section 45-221(a)(4) states that a public agency does not need to disclose “[p]ersonnel records, performance ratings or individually identifiable records pertaining to employees or applicants for employment” (emphasis added) other than names, positions, salary, or actual compensation contracts.