The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Tennessee County Municipal Advisory Service

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Office of Open Records Counsel

Reference Number: MTAS-450
Tennessee Code Annotated
Reviewed Date: March 22, 2013
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The 2008 amendment created the Office of Open Records Counsel (OORC), which is housed within the office of comptroller of the treasury and is overseen by a 10-member advisory council. The OORC provides local governments with information and informal opinions on open records questions. These opinions are available for viewing on its website. Additionally, the OORC is available to mediate disputes between local governments and requesting citizens.

Not only are opinions issued by the OORC valuable for the information contained therein, they also can provide a safe harbor for employees who rely on them. In actions brought by citizens denied a requested record, courts have considered guidance provided by the OORC in determining the willfulness of denial and furthermore, protected those cities seeking guidance from the OORC prior to denial.