Accessing Public Records
As part of the Office of the State Treasurer's continued commitment to openness and transparency, we have implemented the following public records policy. If you have questions regarding this policy, please review the information provided on this page and the enclosed links.
Public Records by Statute
The Vermont General Assembly has established guidelines to facilitate access to public records requests.
“It is the policy of this sub-chapter to provide for free and open examination of records consistent with Chapter I, Article 6 of the Vermont Constitution. Officers of government are trustees and servants of the people and it is in the public interest to enable any person to review and criticize their decisions even though such examination may cause inconvenience or embarrassment. All people, however, have a right to privacy in their personal and economic pursuits, which ought to be protected unless specific information is needed to review the action of a governmental officer. Consistent with these principles, the general assembly hereby declares that certain public records shall be made available to any person as hereinafter provided. To that end, the provisions of this sub-chapter shall be liberally construed to implement this policy, and the burden of proof shall be on the public agency to sustain its action.” 1 V.S.A. § 315
The procedures for requesting public documents are set out in the State Access to Public Records Law at 1 V.S.A. § 316. The following sub-sections outline additional considerations of the law:
- § 317. Definitions; public agency; public records and documents
- § 317a. Disposition of public records
- § 318. Procedure
- § 319. Enforcement
- § 320. Penalties
The Treasurer has appointed a staff member to act as Records Custodian for purposes of receiving and responding to all requests for public records. The current Records Custodian is Tim Lueders-Dumont. He may be reached at (802) 828-1451 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Requests for Public Records
Generally speaking, those seeking access to public records are advised to put the request in writing and to email it to email@example.com. If email is not an option, mail the request to: ATTN. Tim Lueders-Dumont, Office of the State Treasurer, 109 State Street, 4th floor, Montpelier, VT 05609-6200.
In addition, the Office of the State Treasurer is equipped to handle reasonable in-person requests. Please note that each request is handled on a case-by-case basis determined by the breadth and detail of the requested materials.
The Office of the State Treasurer will respond to requests within three business days of their receipt except when there are certain unusual circumstances and the three day period may be extended in accordance with 1 V.S.A. § 318. Unusual circumstances may result in an extension upon written notice of up to ten business days.
Inspection of Public Records
Those members of the public requesting access to public records may contact the Office of the State Treasurer at (802) 828-1451 to set up an appointment to inspect public records on any day other than a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, between the hours of 9 a.m.- 12 p.m. and 1-4 p.m.
Uniform Schedule of Public Record Charges for State Agencies (CVR 04-000-002)
The Office of the State Treasurer will charge fees for the actual cost of providing a copy of a public record in accordance with the rule adopted by the Secretary of State, as set forth below.
Pursuant to 1 V.S.A. § 316(d) and Acts 1996, No. 159 section 1, the following fees are established:*
- For staff time involved in physically duplicating a record, $.33 per minute after the first 30 minutes.
- For senior-level staff time, and information technology specialists' time spent extracting data from databases or performing similar tasks necessary to comply with a request to create a new public record, $.57 per minute.
- For any other staff time for which cost can be charged and collected under this section, $.45 per minute.
- For photocopies,$.05 per single-sided page, $.09 per double-sided page for pages up to 8.5 by 14 inches.
- For color photocopies, $1.00 per single-sided page.
- For computer-generated paper copies, $.02 per page for pages up to 8.5 by 14 inches.
- For computer diskettes, $.28 each for 3.5-inch diskettes.
- For compact discs, $.86 each for write-once CD w/case, $2.31 each for re-writable CD w/case.
- For audio tapes, $.81 each.
- For video tapes, $1.69 each.
- For DVD's, $2.00 each for write-once DVD w/case, $4.00 each for re-writable DVD w/case.
* Note: there are fees for copies of public records that are established by statute that may override the fees established by this schedule.
Records Exempt from Disclosure
While the Office of the State Treasurer strongly favors access to public documents and records, exceptions to that general policy of disclosure are listed in 1 V.S.A. § 317(c). Certain records are exempt from disclosure and include, among others: documents made confidential by any law, documents which are recognized as being privileged (such as medical records), tax returns, proprietary information and trade secrets, records relevant to active litigation, records relating to negotiation of contracts, and records containing certain types of personal or financial information about individuals.
We will construe these exceptions strictly and resolve any doubts in favor of disclosure.
If you believe you were wrongly denied a request for public records, you may appeal to the Deputy Treasurer. Please send your appeal to firstname.lastname@example.org. If email is not an option, mail the request to: ATTN. Tim Lueders-Dumont, Office of the State Treasurer, 109 State Street, 4th Floor, Montpelier, VT 05609-6200.
If you feel the appeal response is unsatisfactory, you may file an appeal in Superior Court.