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The Ohio Public Records Act

1.  A public office must organize and maintain their public records in a way that they can be made available for copying and inspection in response to public records requests (R.C. 149.43(B)(2)).

2. In order to facilitate transparency in government and as one means of preventing the circumvention of Ohio Public Records Act, Ohio’s records retention law R.C. 149.351, prohibits unauthorized removal, destruction, mutilation, transfer, damages, or disposal of any record or part or a record, except as provided by law or under the rules adopted by the records commissions (i.e., pursuant to approved records retention schedules) (R.C. 149.351(A)).

3. Records of a public office may be destroyed, but only if they are destroyed in compliance with a properly approved records retention schedule (R.C. 149.351; R.C. 121.11).

4. Records commissions are responsible for reviewing applications for one-time disposal of obsolete records, as well as records retention schedules submitted by government offices within their jurisdiction (R.C. 149.38, .381).  Once a commission has approved an application or schedule, it is then forwarded to the State Archives at the Ohio History Connection for review and identification of records that they deem to be of continuing historical value (R.C.149.38, .381).  Upon completion of that process, the Ohio History Connection will then forward to application or schedule to the Auditor of State for approval or disapproval (R.C. 149.39).