Florida State University is committed to providing public access to records under Florida’s Public Records Laws. For more information about public records requests and any associated fees, please refer to Chapter 119 in the Florida Statutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are public records?
As defined in Chapter 119, Florida Statutes, any record that transacts official University business is considered open to the public. This includes most records created by University employees and agents when they are acting in their official capacity. However, not all records are open to public disclosure. Some records may be considered confidential and/or exempt under Florida Statutes. See below for more information about common exemptions.
What is the difference between information and records?
While certain records are open to the public, the University is not required to answer general questions if the information is not reflected in a public record. Further, the University is not required to answer questions about a record, or to create a record where one does not exist.
What records are exempt from public disclosure?
Florida Statutes provide several exemptions to the public records law to protect sensitive or non-public information. While this is not an exhaustive list, some of the more common exemptions are explained below:
- Social Security Numbers (§ 119.071(5))
- Medical information (§§ 90.503; 456.057)
- Personnel evaluations of job performance (§ 1012.91)
- Certain disciplinary records (§ 119.071(2))
- Direct Support Organization records (§ 1004.28)
- Records related to research (§ 1004.22)
- Information for law enforcement personnel, mental health workers, and their families (§ 119.071(4))
- IT and Security information (§ 282.318(4))
- Trade secrets and proprietary information (§ 812.081)
- Student records (§ 1006.52)
Is there a fee for receiving public records?
Florida Statutes allow the University to recover the cost of printing or duplicating records in response to a request. Additionally, if the University's response requires extensive use of information technology resources or clerical or supervisory assistance, the University may recover a reasonable service charge. The charge is based on the labor and any other actual costs associated with gathering and duplicating the records. The University will provide an estimate of the cost required to fulfill a request, and may require prepayment of the service charge.
For more information, see FSU Regulation 2.023 Public Records: Uniform Charge Procedure.
How long does it take to process a records request?
The University has a "reasonable time" to respond to a records request, so no definite timeframe applies. The timing depends on the facts and circumstances of each request. If the request is extensive, voluminous, or includes exempt information requiring redaction, the University's response time will vary. The University is not required to comply with a deadline stated in the request.
How long are public records available?
The Department of State's Division of Library and Information Services has established a timeline for retaining and destroying University records. Retention requirements vary depending on the category of records. Depending on the guidelines, certain records may no longer exist at the time of a request. See the State's General Records Schedules for more detailed information.
Under § 119.12, Florida Statutes, the Office of the General Counsel has been designated as the Custodian of Public Records. For your convenience, you may submit a public records request by completing the Request Form below.