from: Sunshine Request <[email protected]>
to: Michele Avendano <[email protected]>,
date: Sep 13, 2021, 4:25 PM
subject: Re: [EXTERNAL] Records Request: (May 2021) Request for Gaston College, Dallas NC Council assignments
Good afternoon Michele,
Following up on this public records request from 5/24: [See Editor’s](May 2021) Request for Gaston College, Dallas NC Council assignments
I asked for clarification regarding the email I sent to you on 6/25 and haven’t heard back. That email I sent is copied below.
For now, we’re going to mark this request as denied, and if you wish to respond / complete the request at some point, we’ll be happy to reopen at that time.
Upon further inspection of the response you sent over:
“Public records law does not require a government agency to create or compile a record that does not exist, and Gaston College does not maintain a specific record or report that contains the data in this information request.”
I agree with you, but for users on our site I just wanted to note where this is cited more fully under NC Public Records Law:
“(a) Persons requesting copies of public records may elect to obtain them in any and all media in which the public agency is capable of providing them. No request for copies of public records in a particular medium shall be denied on the grounds that the custodian has made or prefers to make the public records available in another medium. The public agency may assess different fees for different media as prescribed by law.”
“(e) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a public agency to respond to a request for a copy of a public record by creating or compiling a record that does not exist. If a public agency, as a service to the requester, voluntarily elects to create or compile a record, it may negotiate a reasonable charge for the service with the requester. Nothing in this section shall be construed to require a public agency to put into electronic medium a record that is not kept in electronic medium. (1995, c. 388, s. 3; 2004-129, s. 38.)”
Specifically — I just wanted to note the piece that says you are not required to put public records into an electronic medium, if they do not already exist in that format.
I’m sure that the records requested don’t exist, and so they also aren’t in an electronic format either, and that’s fine. I just wanted to note this law for any future requesters, since we do get a lot of interest in requests about Gaston College in particular.
Additionally — You’ve also cited on other unrelated requests we’ve submitted that:
“The Gaston College Foundation, which is guided by a 15 voting member Board of Directors, is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization” … and … “is not subject to public records laws.”
I’m just wondering if you can please clarify this difference in organizational structure for future requests — What type of legal entity is Gaston College? Are you a Government-run agency, receiving government funding? Are you a Non-profit, etc.? Where specifically are you exempt from NC public records laws? And can you please cite a specific link (URL) to that section of NC Public Records Law so that we can reference this in future requests?
Thank you for your assistance!
Government Denied Request