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Records Management and the Law

Kansas state and local government records are governed by various laws and regulations.  Awareness of the relevant state and federal requirements pertaining to records management ensures compliance with applicable laws. 

Below are direct links to the full text of each law as well as a brief explanation of the content.

NOTE: This is not an exhaustive list of all statutes governing the recordkeeping practices of a state agency or local office.

For interpretation of these laws, consult your agency legal department or counsel, or contact the Kansas Attorney General's Office for assistance.

Government Records Preservation Act (K.S.A. 45-401 et seq.)

  • Defines government records.
  • Declares records to be state property
  • Prohibits their unauthorized destruction.
  • Regarding the State Records Board:
    • Lists duties and responsibilities;
    • Exempts legislative and judicial records from their control;
    • Designates the Kansas Historical Society as the official State Archives.
  • Regarding the State Archivist:
    • Specifies duties and responsibilities;
    • Authorizes access to confidential information;
    • Provides for the creation of standards and best practices for electronic recordkeeping;
    • Certify via electronic signature electronic records to have all the legal force and effect as the original;
  • Requires state and local agencies to cooperate with the State Records Board and the State Archivist in regards to records.
  • Stipulates the conditions for the destruction of records after microfilming.

Public Records Act (K.S.A. 75-3501 et seq.)

  • Defines records.
  • Regarding the State Records Board:
    • Creates the board;
    • Establishes the composition;
    • Outlines general responsibilities
  • Regarding micrographic and optical disc records:
    • Authorizes admissibility in court;
    • Requires agency compliance with standards.
  • Requires state agencies to maintain titles, deeds, or other records related to any real estate transactions conducted by the agency.
  • Provides guidelines for the use of acid-free and permanent paper.
  • Prohibits disclosure of individuals’ social security numbers, but not access to full records containing that information.

State Records Board K.A.R. 53-4-1,

  • Implements the Kansas Public Records Act
  • Describes the duties of records officers

Kansas Open Records Act, or KORA (K.S.A. 45-215 et seq.):

  • Declares records open for inspection unless otherwise provided by this act.
  • Requires the development of policies to provide prompt and convenient public access to government records for a reasonable fee.
  • Describes specific categories of records that are exempt from disclosure.
  • State agencies have discretion to release some records exempted from disclosure by the KORA. (See or these categories.)
  • Provides that records exempted by KORA and still in existence will be open to the public after 70 years unless closed by another specific statute or regulation.
  • Provides description of enforcement actions and penalties for violations.
  • Requires the designation of a local freedom of information officer per office
  • Requires a citizens’ right to access brochure be available to the general public.
  • Provides for legislative review of exceptions
  • Prohibits unlawful use of names derived from public records.
  • Requires not-for-profit entities receiving public monies over a certain amount to retain and make publicly available records regarding the expenditure of those funds.

Kansas Open Meetings Act, or KOMA (K.S.A. 75-4317 et seq.)

  • Defines meetings.
  • Declares meetings that conduct governmental affairs or governmental business transactions be open to the public.
  • Provides for public notices to be given regarding meetings.
  • Provides for exceptions when meetings may be closed.
  • Describes penalties and enforcement actions.

Other laws that may be applicable to an agency’s or office’s recordkeeping practices include but are not limited to:

K.S.A. 12-1658  - K.S.A 12-1661 and K.S.A 19-2647  - K.S.A. 19-2651

  • Allows cities, municipalities, and counties respectively to provide for the care and housing of records and objects of historical interest to the city, municipality, or county following a resolution.
  • Indicates that a local historical society can be designated to serve as the supervisor or curator of such a collection.
  • Allows that public funds may be used toward that purpose.

K.S.A. 16-1601 et seq.Allows for the use of electronic signatures and electronic recordkeeping

K.S.A. 21-5920Defines tampering with a public record as a class A nonperson misdemeanor

K.S.A 46-2101 et seq.Establishes a legislative Joint Committee on Information Technology

K.S.A. 75-103 –K.S.A. 75-105

  • Governs records created by and for the Governor’s Office. 
  • Establishes that certain records shall be transferred to the State Archives 3 years after a governor has left office and they
    • remain in the Governor’s custodianship until his or her death.
    • may remain closed at the Governor’s discretion or due to KORA exemptions.

K.S.A. 75-2566 Establishes and provides for the operation of a publication collection and depository system

K.S.A. 75-7202 et seq.: Establishes the Information Technology governance structure in Kansas