The City of Keene NH requires that a original written and signed request for access to governmental records made under NH RSA Ch. 91-A be submitted to the Office of the City Clerk for processing.
The City of Keene municipal government operates under the following principles:
- Openness in the conduct of public business is essential to a democratic society to ensure both the greatest possible public access to the actions, discussions and records of all public bodies, and their accountability to the people.
- The public has the right to inspect, during regular business hours and at the appropriate department location, all public governmental records and copies except those records that are temporarily unavailable or are specifically exempted by law.
- The public must reasonably describe the record being requested.
- The public does not have to offer a reason or demonstrate a need to inspect a record.
- The City is not required to create a record that does not exist, or compile data to create a record in a specific format requested, including electronic format; however, it may be easier to create an electronic summary or other report from a database than it would be to copy large volumes to satisfy specific record requests, and may also be necessary to maintain confidentiality.
- Records that are exempt from public access are cited under various NH laws and generally include: personnel records, medical, welfare, library user, vital records or any other confidential record in which disclosure would constitute an invasion of privacy or jeopardize the security or safety of any individual. Any question as to whether a record or portion of a record may be exempt from disclosure shall be addressed by the City Attorney or designee prior to release.
- Written requests for governmental records, which reference right-to-know or NH RSA Ch. 91-A, received by the City of Keene are to be administered through the Office of the City Clerk in coordination with the City Attorney and appropriate department.
- Although the City of Keene is not required to respond to requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which applies only to Federal Governmental Agencies, requests cited under this Federal law shall be treated as a right to know request and shall be forwarded to the Office of the City Clerk for processing.