CORA: Colorado Open Records Requests

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About CORA

Please submit CORA requests for OIT records in writing:

  • Email: oit_cora@state.co.us
  • Fax: 303.764.7725 
  • Mail: 601 East 18th Avenue, Suite 130, Denver, CO 80203

OIT does not charge for the first hour of research and retrieval of public records. After the first hour, OIT charges $20 per hour to research and retrieve public records. When the number of pages needed exceeds 25 pages, OIT will charge $0.25 per page for all documents photocopied.

Learn more about CORA in the Colorado Revised Statute, C.R.S. § 24-72-200.1 to 206 (PDF).

  Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Colorado Open Records Act?

The Colorado Open Records Act (C.R.S. § 24-72-200.1 to 206), commonly referred to as CORA, empowers people to understand how Colorado’s government functions through the review and inspection of public records. The Governor’s Office of Information Technology (OIT) is committed to transparency and open government and applies the provisions of CORA in a consistent manner. Public records requests made to OIT that reference the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) are treated the same as if they were submitted in accordance with CORA.
 
CORA requires government offices to make public records available to a requester unless an exception applies. Public records include all writings made, maintained or kept by the state. Writings encompass a broad range of items including books, papers, maps, photographs, cards, tapes, recordings and other documentary materials. Digitally stored data including email are also considered writings under CORA. In order to be a public record, the record must involve the receipt or expenditure of public funds or the exercise of functions required or authorized by law or administrative rule. CORA only considers public records to be written information that already exists within the government; as such, CORA does not require an agency to create new records to respond to a request.

Public records do not include “work products” for an elected official before they have been produced and distributed to members of a public body, as well as deliberative process records which are so candid or personal that public disclosure is likely to stifle honest and frank discussion within the government.

What records are excluded from public inspection?

All public records are open to inspection by any person at reasonable times, except as provided in C.R.S. § 24-72-204. CORA divides records that are exempt from inspection into two categories: records a custodian may deny access to (C.R.S. § 24-72-204(2)) and records a custodian must deny access to (C.R.S. § 24-72-204(3)). 

Personally identifiable information (PII) such as place and date of birth, home address, social security number, physical description, photograph or signature of any person must be redacted prior to release of public records. Similarly, email addresses provided by a person to OIT to aid in future communication are not disclosed to the public. Some records may be protected from disclosure to anyone except the person the record concerns, while other records are entirely exempt from public inspection due to statutes that specifically prohibit their release.

What information does OIT require in order to process my CORA request?

Open records requests should be made to OIT in writing through email, fax or postal service. Requests should include a clear, specific and factual description of the information you are seeking. Requesters should provide as much detail as possible, including relevant dates, names and contract or solicitation numbers, when available. 

The State of Colorado’s Contract Management System and the Colorado Vendor Self Service System may assist in narrowing the scope of your request.

How should I submit my CORA request?

All CORA requests should be made in writing using one of the following methods:

  • Email: oit_cora@state.co.us
  • Fax: 303.764.7725 
  • Postal mail: 601 East 18th Avenue, Suite 130, Denver, CO 80203

If your request is sent via email or fax during normal business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, holidays excepted) and you do not receive an acknowledgment of  receipt of your request within two working days (except for holidays and office closures) please re-send your request.

What if OIT doesn’t have the public record I’m seeking?

OIT sometimes receives CORA requests for which we are not the custodian of the record. In these cases, the OIT records custodian will notify you that the record does not exist within OIT and make every effort to direct you to the agency that is the custodian of the record you are seeking.

How long will it take to receive a response from OIT’s records custodian?

OIT makes every effort to provide responsive documents to CORA requests within three working days as required by C.R.S. § 24-72-203(3)(b). The day in which the request is received does not count against the statutory deadlines for responding to the request. If a request is received during normal business hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, holidays excepted), the three-day response time begins the first working day following receipt of the request. A request received after 5 p.m., or any day OIT is officially closed, will be considered received as of the following working day. For example, an email received at 5:09 p.m. Monday will be considered received Tuesday and will be responded to by close of business Friday. A CORA request that is submitted on a state holiday will be considered received the first working day following the holiday.

CORA allows an additional seven working days to make the information available if the request involves an extenuating circumstance or if it will require a significant amount of time to compile. If a request will take longer than three working days to complete, OIT’s records custodian will communicate this information to the requester as soon as possible.

Will OIT staff interpret, explain or answer questions regarding the documents provided in response to a CORA request?

No. Interpretation of records provided in response to a CORA request is beyond the scope of the Act. Additionally, CORA does not require the government to manipulate or analyze information it might have or create new documents in order to respond to a request.

In what format will the records I request be delivered?

CORA does not guarantee access to public records in a specific format. The OIT records custodian will determine the appropriate format for the records to be produced, which may not be in their native format. Whenever possible, OIT endeavors to provide electronic copies of files to requesters. When responsive records cannot be easily or cost-effectively provided electronically to a requester, OIT will work with the requester to schedule a time to inspect the records in person.

Is there a cost to review or obtain records through a CORA request?

OIT does not charge for the first hour of time expended for the research and retrieval of public records. After the first hour, OIT charges the requester $20 per hour to research and retrieve public records. 

If responsive documents are not available to transmit electronically, OIT will assess a small fee to cover the cost of providing hard copies of documents to the requester. When the number of pages to be provided exceeds 25 pages, OIT will charge $0.25 per page for all documents photocopied. Any costs charged to a requester cannot exceed the actual cost of producing the records per C.R.S. § 24-72-205(5)(a).

For requests where OIT anticipates more than 25 pages will be produced and/or more than one (1) hour of staff time will be consumed for the research and retrieval of public records, the OIT records custodian will provide the requester with advance notice and an estimate of the costs to produce the public records. Any costs must be paid in full by the requester before the public record can be produced.