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The law gives Arkansans access to public records and public meetings, with limited exceptions. Governing bodies must comply with the open-meetings section of the law if they are making decisions on the public’s behalf. A public record is defined as any writing, sound or video that reflects the performance or lack of performance of an official function. All records maintained by public employees within the scope of their employment are presumed to be public records, though several exemptions may shield a record from disclosure. Government entities generally have up to three days to provide a record requested under the FOIA. Custodians of records may only charge for the “actual costs” of reproducing public records, plus mailing expenses. Notice of public meetings must be provided to anyone who has asked to be notified, and notice of special meetings must be provided to members of the news media who have requested notice of such meetings. Governing bodies may only enter into closed sessions for the purpose of considering employment, appointment, promotion, demotion, disciplining or resignation of an individual officer or employee.
To submit a FOIA request, please contact the Legal Department at (479) 636-0100 or the City Clerk at 479-621-1117.