Florida’s Open Government
Florida’s Public Records laws have been in effect since 1909 and are nationally recognized for being a leader in the Public Records arena.
The Florida Constitution safeguards every person's the standard, unless the Legislature allows an exemption. Every person has the right to obtain public records that are not exempt and can easily request public records from Toho Water Authority (TWA).
What are Public Records?
According to Florida Statute 119.011 (12) Public Records are defined as “all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, films, sound recordings, data processing software, or other material, regardless of physical form, characteristics, or means of transmission, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any agency”.
In a 1980 legal decision, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that a Public Record “is being any material prepared in connection with official agency business which is intended to perpetuate, communicate, or formalize knowledge of some type”.
How to File a Public Records Request
It is important to note that according to Florida’s Public Records law all requesters may remain anonymous when asking for public records and they do not have to put their request in writing or state why they want the record.
To ensure that records are provided in the most efficient manner possible, requests can be submitted through the methods outlined below.
Media-Generated Public Records Requests
Requests from members of the media should be facilitated through TWA's Public Information Coordinator, Mary Cox by email at firstname.lastname@example.org by phone at 407-944-5142.
General Public Records Requests
Submit the request by using TWA's Public Records Request Form. This form can be printed and completed by hand then delivered in person or by mail. The form can also be completed electronically and emailed to the Legal Administrative Assistant at email@example.com.
Construction Plans & As-Built Public Records Requests
Requests for any and all information, data and/or records concerning plans, blueprints, schematic drawings, locations and diagrams, including draft, preliminary and final formats which may depict the location, layout and structural elements of TWA’s utilities and other facilities may only be disclosed to the following by law:
- Another governmental entity if disclosure is necessary for the receiving entity/individual to perform its duties and responsibilities;
- A licensed architect, engineer or contractor who is performing work on or related to the requested TWA structures described in the attached Exhibit “A”, or;
- Upon a showing of good cause before a court of competent jurisdiction.
To request these types of records the TWA Structures Records Release Acknowledgement form must be completed and submitted to the Legal Administrative Assistant at firstname.lastname@example.org along with the details of the records you are requesting.
CLICK HERE for the TWA Structures Records Release Acknowledgement Form.
Returning Public Record Request Form
Mail or drop off the request form in person at TWA's Administrative Offices located at: 951 Martin Luther King Blvd., Kissimmee, FL 34741
Fax the request to the Legal Administrative Assistant at 407-343-4264
Call the Legal Administrative Assistant at 407-944-5162
Fees for Inspection or Copying of Public Records
Any person requesting inspection or copies of public records are responsible for the cost of providing the records, which includes staff time, cost of copies and other costs that may be associated with the request.
The requester will be made aware of the estimated fees associated with their request and must agree to the estimate and authorize Toho to proceed with fulfilling the request. Once the requested records have been compiled an invoice will be provided reflecting the final cost. The requester must provide payment at the time they wish to pick up the requested documents.