Minco officials release audit labeled 'draft'
Minco officials late last week provided a copy of the independent audit of the town's finances to The Minco Millennium, said Kelly Rupp, the newspaper's owner/publisher.
A week earlier, town officials had refused the newspaper's request for the audit, saying it was a draft exempted under the state Open Records Act.
However, the Open Records Act says, "[A] public official may keep confidential his or her personal notes and personally created materials ... prepared as an aid to memory or research leading to the adoption of a public policy or the implementation of a public project." (OKLA. STAT. tit. 51, § 24A.9)
The exemption applies only prior to the official “taking action, including making a recommendation or issuing a report.” (Id.)
The audit clearly did not meet the criteria spelled out in the exemption. It was prepared by an outside auditing firm, not by a public official as personal notes "prepared as an aid to memory or research leading to the adoption of a public policy or the implementation of a public project."
The audit was given to City Council members prior to a public meeting on Jan. 25, according to the newspaper. Council members discussed the 2009 audit and approved minor changes during that special meeting.
The copy received by the newspaper last Friday was labeled "draft."
Joey Senat, Ph.D.
OSU School of Media & Strategic Communications