This University of Nebraska Public Records Request Guide was implemented in order to provide a user-friendly means of complying with the Nebraska Public Records laws.
1. A public records request must be in writing. An email is a writing. Public records requests may only be granted or denied by the Director of Procurement Services (or designee), the Associate Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance, or the Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance.
2. Upon receipt of a request for access to, or copies of, a public record, Procurement Services shall provide, within 4 business days of receiving the request, either (a) access to or copies of the public record, or (b) if there is a legal basis for denial of access or copies, a written denial of the request together with the information required by Neb. Rev. Stat. § 84-712.04. If the entire request cannot with reasonable good faith efforts be fulfilled within four business days after actual receipt of the request due to the significant difficulty or the extensiveness of the request , a written explanation must be sent to the requester within the required four business days. The explanation must include the earliest practicable estimated date for fulfilling the request, an estimate of expected cost of any copies, and the opportunity to modify or prioritize the items within the request. This written response may be delivered via email. If copies of public records are estimated to cost more than fifty dollars, the requester may be required to pay in advance or furnish a deposit before the request is fulfilled.
3. The requester shall be charged $.25 per page with duplexed copies counting as 2 pages. The same charge rate applies to scanned copies sent electronically. In lieu of the per page charge an hourly rate for the staff member compiling the copies may be charged to the requester as well as any other incidental expenses incurred in fulfilling the request. The total charge will be calculated and collected from the requester before compiling the copies if the estimated cost is more than fifty dollars.
4. Bids submitted to the University are presumed to be public records. If bids contain trade secrets, academic or scientific research work in progress and unpublished, or other proprietary or commercial information which if released would give advantage to business competitors and serve no public purpose, it is the responsibility of the bidder to designate such content as confidential. When bids are opened to determine a successful bidder, all bids will be available for public inspection. Portions of bids designated by the bidder as confidential will be withheld from public inspection. Any reasonably segregable portion of the bid that is not designated as confidential shall be provided for public inspection after deletion of the portion or portions of the bid which may be withheld. Price terms appearing in bids or proposals, invoices, purchase orders or other documents calling for the expenditure of public funds may not be designated as confidential or withheld from public inspection.
A bidder shall be solely responsible for providing the defense to any challenge to a decision to withhold information contained in a Proposal, based upon bidder’s identification of the information as confidential.
5. The Associate Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance shall be notified of any records request received by Procurement Services, immediately upon their receipt. Prior to denying any part of a request, or in the case of a disagreement with a bidder over the characterization of information marked by the bidder as confidential, or any other concern with respect to compliance with public records laws, the Associate Vice Chancellor, in consultation with the Vice Chancellor for Business and Finance, may consult with the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel.