overcastOvercast and Breezy, 71.0°


Sound Off: I noticed in a recent Journal-World that the superintendent of schools has his job performance evaluated. Is that evaluation available to the public for viewing?


“Personnel files and evaluations are not public records subject to the Kansas Open Records Act,” said David Cunningham, the Lawrence school district’s director of legal services, human resources and policy.



K.S.A. 45-221 lists the exceptions to the normal rule that all public records are open. The personnel exception has been in that statute since it was first made law in 1984. There are exceptions to the exception (if requested, the public must be given the employee's name, salary, title and any employment contract with them - if one exists at all [they usually don't in an "at-will" employment state]). Other than that information, the personnel records of a government employee can usually be closed. The theory behind allowing such records to be closed is that such records are generally closed everywhere (in both public and private sectors) and the government could not find employees willing to work (usually for less pay than they'd get in the private sector) if their entire personnel files were open to scrutiny by everyone. In general, records concerning someone being charged with violating a law and the proceedings against them are open. Otherwise, we'd have a whole "secret police" process.

6 years, 4 months ago



If personnel records are an exception to KORA, then why are public employee salaries disclosed? That seems an important part of an employee's records...

6 years, 4 months ago


Full LJWorld.com site