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Kentucky Public Record Laws

Website & Social Media Archiving for Kentucky State Agencies

Do you represent a Kentucky State Government Agency and wondering how you should archive all your web and social media content? Are you trying to determine what you need to do both from a legal and a technical point of view? Here’s a guide to the different Laws and processes you should follow.

What Laws govern Records Management in the State of Kentucky?

Kentucky Open Records Law (KRS § 61.870) and Open Meetings Act (KRS 61.800) govern records management in the State of Kentucky.

These regulations provide a description of general requirements of open records laws and procedures to follow in implementing them in the public interest of transparency.

Do Kentucky State Records Laws include Website and Social Media content?

Yes they do. NARA state that it is a “[P]ublic expectation that all web content is both permanently valuable and accessible” – and so social media and web records are subject to these standards as well as the relevant metadata being pertinent to these laws.

Public records are defined within KRS 171.410(1) as “all books, papers, maps, photographs, cards, tapes, disks, diskettes, recordings, and other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics which are prepared, owned, used, in the possessions of or retained by a public agency”. Public records are recorded information that is created or received by a state or local government agency in any format, which documents a transaction or activity by or with any public official or employee of that agency.

Records management standards and principles apply to all forms of recorded information, from creation to final disposition, regardless of the medium in which the records are created and/or stored and so electronic records fall under the definition of public records. Website and social media content records are the public records that are found on agency websites and social media accounts.

What agencies are subject to these laws?

Every public official and agency are subject to these standards and regulations. Public agency is defined within KRS 171.410 (4) as “every state or local office, state department, division, bureau, board, commission and authority; every legislative board, commission, committee…..and any other body which is created by state or local authority and which derives at least twenty five percent (25%) of its funds from state or local authority”.

All state and local government employees are responsible for the records (electronic and other) they create, develop use and maintain. They should be aware that records scheduling and compliance must be implemented for the electronic records systems used in their agencies.

What is my agency required to do in line with these regulations?

KRS 171.640 states that agency heads have a responsibility to ensure that records containing the proper documentation of the business, interests, communication and transactions of the agency are created and preserved.

Your agency website must be retained in electronic format and remain usable, searchable, retrievable and authentic for the length of the designated retention period.

KRS 171.680 (2) states that each agency should maintain a valid record’s system, and should incorporate “[E]ffective controls over the creation, maintenance, and use of records in the conduct of current business, cooperation with KDLA in applying standards, procedures, and techniques designed to improve the management of records;  Promotion of the maintenance and security of records deemed appropriate for preservation” and more.

Case Note: 96-ORD-138, OAG 89-65, OAG 82-169
Although open records provisions should not be used by parties to litigation as a substitute for requests under discovery, there is no indication in the Open Records Act that an agency’s obligations under the Act are suspended in the presence of litigation.
Case Note: Kentucky Lottery Corporation v. Stewart, Ky. App., 41 S.W.3d 860 (2001) Public agency is not relieved of its duties under the Open Records Act because of actual or pending litigation; “[T]he gist of [the wording of KRS 61.878(1)] is not to terminate a person’s right to use an open records request during litigation, but to limit a court on an open records request on excluded records, to those records that could be authorized through a court order on a request for discovery under the Rules of Civil Procedure governing pre-trial discovery.”
In which form do I need to archive my records?

Websites must be retained in their original format: HTML, CSS, PDF etc. KRS § 61.874 (2)(a) also states that public records shall be available in a standard electronic format as designated by the party requesting the records.

How can we transfer website archives made with PageFreezer to the Kentucky State Digital Archives?

PageFreezer exports all data on request in the original file format including the required metadata. This data set can be transferred by FTP or by other means to the Kentucky State or Agency Digital Archives.

How can PageFreezer help our agency?

PageFreezer has been working on our Archiving technology and processes since 2006 – We know how to properly archive Web Sites, Blogs and Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, LinkedIn and Instagram. Just ask any of our over 500 clients including US Cities, Counties and other Government Agencies as well as Multinationals, Financial Service Firms, Healthcare Providers …

Our clients know our technology is secure, reliable and authenticated. More importantly they appreciate the ease-of-use.

That’s why our complex technology is simple to use – The archiving is automatic and retrieval is a matter of signing in, going to the date you want, and browsing your site just like you did when the content was just published.

If you have questions about any of this or about how to actually implement effective Online Public Records management start a free trial, schedule a demo or contact us directly.

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Kentucky Open Gov ResourceManaging Government RecordsLocal Government Records Retention Schedules

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