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When is information Excluded From Ohio Public Records?

Ohio public records are designed to shine a light on the inner workings of the government. The basic premise is that by requiring the government to make everything it creates and collects public, it will be far less likely that any government worker will perform functions that are purposefully against public interest.

Yet Ohio public records don't include all information related to the government. On rare occasion, there is information that the state either cannot or will not make available. Some examples include:

  • Personal Information - Most individual information collected by the government that seems personal is actually still considered a matter of public record, such as your address. But medical records, social security numbers - those types of information can be a threat to privacy or safety, so that information is left out of Ohio public records.
  • Outsourced Government Work - On occasion, the government sends some of their work to private companies that are not subjected to Ohio public records law. For example, Ohio recently handed over job creation functions to a private company. Only some of those records are made public, while the rest are going to be considered private business records that do not need to be reported.
  • When information is not kept within these public records, it is often in the public's interest. However, in some cases the information left out may be valuable, and when that occurs you can file appeals with the state government to gain access to these records when you need them.

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