Ombudsman office to begin work outlined in legislation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee's new records ombudsman office says it is preparing to address changes to the state's open records laws.

The open records bill gives records custodians no more than seven days to respond to requests or explain why they need more time. There is currently no deadline for responding to requests.

The legislation also writes the open records ombudsman's position into law and requires the ombudsman's office to develop a reasonable fee schedule for records requests that take longer than five hours to fulfill.

The bill was sent to Gov. Phil Bredesen's office last week. The governor could not be reached for comment about whether he will sign the bill, but open records specialist Elisha Hodge said her office is "going to start working in anticipation that it's going to be signed."

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(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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