National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

Oregon FOIA Laws

Oregon Public Meetings Law

The Oregon Public Meetings Law legislates the method by which public meetings are conducted. A meetings is defined as any convening of a quorum of the members of a governing body in order to discuss or decide on public business. Some exemptions include on-site inspection of facilities or attendance to national, regional or state association of which the public body is a part. If violated, the court may void any action taken during the meeting and assess fines. An individual must file suit within 60 days of the violation.

Open Meetings Law O.R.S. 192.610 et seq.

Closed: Personnel matters; filling of a vacancy in elective office; misconduct investigations; conduct of medical staff at public hospitals; some labor negotiations; property negotiations; trade or commerce negotiations; and attorney consultations.

Oregon Public Records Law

The Oregon Public Records Law, first enacted in 1973, is a series of laws designed to guarantee that the public has access to public records of government bodies at all levels. The ORS 192.410(4)(a) says that a public record includes any writing that contains information that relates to the conduct of the public’s business, is prepared, owned, used or maintained by a public body regardless of physical form or characteristics. If a record (a) does not relate to the conduct of the public’s business and (b) is contained on a privately owned computer”, then it is not a public record as defined in the law.

Anyone can request public records and a statement of purpose is not required. There are no restrictions on the use of records nor is there a specified time limit for responses.

Open Records Laws O.R.S. 192.410 et seq.

Exempt: Records less than 75 years old containing information on the health care treatment of a living individual; impending litigation; trade secrets; criminal investigation materials; testing materials; real estate appraisals; personnel disciplinary action; and computer programs.

Visit, Oregon Sample FOIA Request, to view a sample FOIA request for the state.