All public records requests to OSU and OU are funneled through one office on each campus even though a 2005 attorney general opinion requires that government documents be made available where they "are located in the ordinary course of business."
OU's open records office includes one records clerk and an assistant, The Oklahoman recently noted.
OU General Counsel Anil Golahalli told the newspaper that sending the more than 3,000 records requests a year through one person is efficient. He said OU officials take one or two days to respond to a basic records request.
At OSU, records requests are funneled through university spokesman Gary Shutt’s office.
"The law allows us to handle and develop a process for open records that we think makes sense for our organization,” Shutt told The Oklahoman. "It’s perfectly within our legal right.”
But in 2005, state Attorney General Drew Edmondson said, “If a public body has more than one office location, its records must be maintained and made available to the public at the office where the records are located in the ordinary course of business. (2005 OK AG 3, ¶ 10)
“Our intent is to make the records available as soon as possible,” Shutt said. “Clearly, it should not have taken as long as it did.”
Oklahoma public agencies and officials do have a “duty” to provide public records to the public.
“The purpose of the Act is ‘to ensure and facilitate the public’s right of access to and review of government records so they may efficiently and intelligently exercise their inherent political power,'" said Edmondson in 2005. (Id. ¶ 4)