The Oregon Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology (BSPA) adheres to ORS 192.410 to 192.505 and ORS 681 regarding requests for public information.
It is the policy of BSPA to acknowledge information requests within one business week of receipt, and to fulfill requests within 30 days, which should fulfill the statutory requirement of “as soon as practicable and without unreasonable delay” cited in statute. In practice, BSPA acknowledges information requests within 48 hours of receipt (unless it arrives on a weekend or holiday), and delivers the requested information within a week. (See performance below). BSPA is committed to public transparency in all of its work as outlined in Oregon law.
BSPA adheres to best practices as outlined at the 2015 Oregon Public Law Conference with regard to requests for information from the public. Included in these best practices are proper documentation, following written record retention and destruction policies, and maintaining contact with the requester to ensure the request is being fulfilled properly without unnecessary duplication or superfluous information.
Upon receipt (within 2 business days), staff acknowledges receipt of the request either by sending an email or calling the requester. This assures the requester that staff have received the request, and allows staff the opportunity to clarify what information is needed, in what format, and by what date. Staff provides the requester with an estimate of the fulfillment cost to ensure the requester wishes to proceed. By far the most frequent item requested of BSPA is the list of licensees, which can be provided in a number of formats. These requests are routine, and are processed and completed by the Administrative Assistant (AA) within one business week.
For more involved public information requests, such as licensee or investigation records, the AA consults with the Executive Director, who may also confer with the assigned Assistant Attorney General (AAG), to first determine if the request is subject to any legal exemptions (See ORS 192.501 to 192.505). BSPA is legally required to keep certain types of documents confidential and not open to public view, such as any records pertaining to litigation filed or likely to be filed (ORS192.501(1)), patient records (ORS192.496 & 192.502(2)), any information collected as part of an investigation of a licensee or applicant (ORS 192.502(9) & ORS676.175), criminal background checks (ORS 181.534), licensee email addresses (ORS 192.502(40)), and other personal information. These more involved requests take more time because staff must retrieve the information from paper files, computer files and email files to ensure the request is properly fulfilled.
The cost for non-routine production of documents will be charged ten cents ($0.10) per page and twenty-five dollars ($25.00) per hour of administrative work necessary to prepare the documents.
As a practical matter, staff will work with the requester to assist them in obtaining the information in a format that meets their needs whenever possible.
Public Record Retention:
BSPA follows record retention policies as described in the administrative rules of the Oregon State Archives (OAR 166-350). Staff of BSPA have not been issued cell phones and do not receive Board business text messages on their personal cell phones beyond logistical personnel issues such as calling in sick. If in a rare circumstance a staff member receives a text on their personal cell phone that is a public document, the procedure is for the staff member to email that text to themselves at their official state issued email address. If the staff member does not have a smart phone, they will re-type the message to themselves on their official state email. All state email records are public records and subject to public records requests. BSPA staff members do not use their personal email accounts for state business. If on the rare circumstance they receive email regarding state business on their personal email account, they forward that email to their official state email account so that it can be properly archived into the public record. BSPA staff are committed to public transparency.
Records of all types are reviewed annually based on state record retention policies, and properly disposed of when released by the Executive Director for destruction.