The Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) Departmental Services Unit, Records Management Section, within the Support Services Division, serves as the Open Records Act coordinator for OKDHS. There are open records officers in each local OKDHS office.
Oklahoma Open Records Act
The Oklahoma Open Records Act is codified in 51 O.S. §24A.1 through 24A.18. This act gives you the right to access, review and copy certain OKDHS records. The records covered by this act deal mainly with business and financial transactions. The act does not address those records specifically required by statute or regulations to be kept confidential.
Records not disclosed
- Applications, information and records concerning individual clients
- Records concerning child abuse, adoption, foster care or child welfare
- Anyone’s social security number, home address or telephone number
- Records subject to privileges such as attorney-client and physician-patient
- Personal notes prepared in making a decision or recommendation, except such material relating to budget requests, prior to taking action
- Proprietary information relating to bids or contracts prior to publication or opening, computer programs and software and appraisal for awarding contracts prior to the award
- Personal communications with a public official in the exercise of constitutional rights
- Student records except for directory information
- Documents provided by federal agencies which are subject to limitations on disclosure
- Any information related to research, the disclosure of which could affect the conduct or outcome of the research
- Personnel records if they relate to a personnel investigation/disciplinary action or the release would be a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy
- HIPAA protected information
All other information may be subject to release including some personnel records such as: the application of a person who becomes an employee, gross receipt of public funds, dates of employment, title or position and final disciplinary actions. As provided in OKDHS policy, employees may have access to their own personnel file.
It is possible records may contain material that are both open and confidential. When this occurs, confidential information is removed before it is released. Access to records is not denied because another division or public official is using or has taken possession of such records.
Denial of access of appeal
A denial of access to records may be appealed within 10 days by writing to the: Director of Human Services, Open Records Act Appeal, P.O. Box 25352, Oklahoma City, OK 73125.
Local office public records officers
Each office designates a public records officer (PRO) to assist the public in the inspection and copying of records. The officer has the authority to decide which records are releasable within the guidelines of agency open records policy. They establish search and copy procedures that will protect the integrity and organization of records without disrupting the office. Officers also collect any required search or copy fees.
How to request information from OKDHS
OKDHS Form 23RM023E - Request to Review and/or Copy Records is completed when you want to review or copy OKDHS records. Please provide a description of the requested records; how the record is to be used, such as, in the public interest, news media, research, commercial purposes, etc.; and the your name and address.
Social security numbers are helpful, but not required. However, we do need some type of identifying information -- your date of birth, previous names you have used and a case number, if you know it. You may request to have your identity kept anonymous; however, OKDHS cannot guarantee anonymity as it is not a condition of the law.
A search fee in addition to a fee for photocopying may be charged. Requests that are for commercial purposes or that would cause excessive disruption of office function are charged a search fee of $25 per hour for staff time spent in the search. The actual cost of duplicating the information involved is charged for computer runs, microfilming or reproduction other than photocopying.
Photocopying fees for documents which are 8.5 x 14 inches, or smaller, are:
- No charge for 100 pages or less in a calendar year;
- $.25 per page more than 100 pages in a calendar year; or
- $1 per page for certified document
There is a $25 per hour search fee for commercial requests or those that cause excessive disruption of office functions. This charge is a reimbursement for staff time.
There is a $35 per hour cost of labor fee when computer programming or computer processing time is required.
All fees must be paid by check or money order, payable to OKDHS, before the material is reviewed or copies are delivered. Fees are paid by check or money order. OKDHS does not accept cash.