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Library: Policy

340:2-21-13. Release of information

Revised 7-1-06

(a) Information subject to release.  Information available for release includes:

  • (1) personnel information including:  • 1
    • (A) the application of a person who becomes a public official;
    • (B) gross receipt of public funds;
    • (C) dates of employment, title, or position; and
    • (D) any final disciplinary action resulting in loss of pay, suspension, demotion, or termination;
  • (2) vendor and provider information not excluded by subsection (b)(4) through (6) of this Section and public funds paid to vendors and providers; and
  • (3) subject to OAC 340:65-1-2, copies of documents from a client's public assistance record, upon request of that specific client, whether an applicant, recipient, or former recipient.

(b) Information not subject to release.  • 2 

Records kept confidential by federal and state law are not subject to release.  Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) rules provide confidentiality for specific program areas per OAC 340:1-1-20.  Records kept confidential include, but are not limited to:  

  • (1) all applications, information, payments received, and records concerning any applicant or recipient of OKDHS programs or services;
  • (2) records subject to confidential privilege such as attorney-client or physician‑patient;
  • (3) personal notes prepared for one's own use in making a decision or recommendation, except material related to budget requests prior to taking action;
  • (4) position papers prepared to assist in OKDHS decision-making.  Documents regarding fiscal or policy matters presented to the Oklahoma Commission for Human Services (Commission) prior to any public action may be released if the Commission takes public action regarding these matters;
  • (5) information from personnel records which is a clear invasion of personal privacy such as:
    • (A) employee evaluations;
    • (B) payroll deductions;
    • (C) employment applications submitted by persons not hired by OKDHS;
    • (D) internal personnel investigations including examination and selection material for employment, hiring, appointment, promotion, demotion, discipline, or resignation;
    • (E) employees' home addresses, telephone numbers, and Social Security numbers; and
    • (F) medical and employee assistance records;
  • (6) information that may give an unfair advantage to competitors or bidders;
  • (7) proprietary computer programs and software;
  • (8) adoption, foster care, and child welfare records;
  • (9) documents provided OKDHS by other governmental agencies deemed confidential by the sending agency.  Requests for information or documents provided by another agency are referred to the sending agency; and
  • (10) records concerning child abuse. • 3
    • (A) Disclosure of certain information may be provided regarding circumstances of a child's death due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment. [10 O.S. § 7005-1.4]
    • (B) Information released does not identify anyone filing a complaint or reporting child abuse or neglect, the child victim's siblings, parent(s), or other person responsible for the child, or any other member of the household except for the person criminally charged. 

(c) Access to records.  Access to records is not denied because another OKDHS division or public official is using or has taken possession of the records for investigatory purposes or has placed the records in a litigation or investigation file.  When an employee's personnel file is requested, under the Open Records Act, the OKDHS Human Resources Management Division (HRMD) notifies the employee that the file has been requested and who requested it.

(d) Penalties and appeals.  Any person denied access to a record may file an appeal in accordance with Section 24A.17 of Title 51 of the Oklahoma Statutes.  The appeal must be filed within ten days of the denial.  The appeal is requested by submitting a letter to the Director, Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Open Records Act Appeal, PO Box 25352, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma  73125.

(e) Anonymity of persons requesting access to records.  A person requesting access to OKDHS records may request to have his or her identity kept anonymous.  OKDHS cannot guarantee anonymity of the requestor, as it is not a condition of the law.

1.   An employee who wishes to review his or her own personnel file makes the request directly to the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) Human Resources Management Division (HRMD).

2.   The OKDHS Legal Division is consulted prior to release of any information included in subsection (b)(1) through (10).

3.   See OAC 340:75-1-44 for information on records that are disclosed without a court order.

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