Policies and Procedures Manual

Chapter 5: Personnel

05:03:04   Release of Personnel Records Information

Purpose: The purpose of this policy is to define "public records" and establish procedures for access and release of information. 

  1. General: Under the provisions of TCA 10-7-503 public records, including personnel records, may be inspected, extracted, or copied by a citizen of Tennessee during normal business hours in accordance with reasonable rules of access and release. 
  2. Definition: Public records, according to TCA 10-7-301, means all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs, microfilms, electronic data processing files and output, films, sound recordings, or other material regardless of physical form or characteristics made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any governmental agency. 
  3. Exception: Records covered under an attorney-client relationship and all student records and materials covered under the Buckley Amendment are exempt from this policy. Release of information concerning students is covered by Northeast State Policy 05:03:02
  4. Custodian of Public Records

a. Personnel Records: For purposes of information access, the director of Human Resources Records is appointed custodian of personnel records. Requests for access to personnel records shall be made to the director of Human Resources Records in accordance with procedures established in this policy.

b. Other Public Records: The president or the appropriate vice president is designated custodian of other public records under their custody. Requests for access to non-personnel records covered under this policy shall be made to the Equity and Compliance Officer in accordance with the process established in this policy. 

5. Procedure

a. Personnel Records: Requests for access to personnel records including automated personnel files shall be communicated in writing to the director of Human Resources Records stating specifically which records are desired for review. An appointment will be scheduled, and the records review will occur in the presence of Human Resources staff. TBR Policy 05:01:00:10 lists the information contained in personnel records that shall be treated as confidential pursuant to applicable state law. If the records of an employee are requested by a third party, an attempt will be made to notify the employee concerned before granting access or release of the records. No items shall be entered or removed from personnel records in connection with the information search. Copies requested will be marked “copy” and provided to the individual making the request usually within two weeks upon payment of $1 per copy. Payment shall be made to the Business Office, and a copy of the receipt shall be obtained by the Human Resources staff prior to release of the records.

b. Other Written Records: Requests for access to other non-personnel, written documents shall be communicated in writing to the president or the appropriate vice president having custody of the records stating specifically which documents are desired for review. An appointment will be scheduled with the vice president or designee having custody of the document. The document review will occur in the presence of the vice president or designee. Copies requested will be marked – copy" and provided to the individual making the request usually within two weeks upon payment of $1 per copy. Payment shall be made to the Business Office, and a copy of the receipt shall be obtained by the vice president or designated staff member.

c. Other Record Materials: Requests for access to non-personnel records maintained in a physical form other than written copy shall be communicated in writing to the president or appropriate vice president stating specifically which items are desired for review. An appointment will be scheduled with the vice president or designee having custody of the item. The item review will occur in the presence of the vice president or designee. Requests for item duplication or information transfer to written copy will be honored if it is within the capability of the College to produce. Cost of the requested item and estimated production time will be quoted at the time the specific request is made. The Chief Financial Officer shall determine the cost(s) involved. Payment shall be made to the Business Office, and a copy of the receipt shall be obtained by the vice president or designee prior to release of item concerned. 

6. Nothing in this policy shall require the creation of any record or the maintenance of any record for any period of time in excess of any retention period established by the institution, the board, or state or federal law.



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Divisional Review Responsibilities Checklist: Human Resources

Revision History: June 2009, March 2013, March 2014, July 2015