Chagrin Falls Schools Treasurer’s Department received the “Highest Achievement in Open and Transparent Government Award” from Ohio Auditor of State Keith Faber. The District is in the top 14% of all governmental entities they audited for transparency.
In March of 2019, Ohio Auditor of State Keith Faber announced his plan to create a program that would encourage public entities to be more open and transparent. Previously, while serving as Ohio Senate President, Auditor Faber worked with the Court of Claims to establish an independent and affordable process for citizens to have their public records complaints heard and determined. To build upon the success achieved with the public record mediation program and further promote more open and transparent government operations, the “StaRS” public records system was launched in November of 2019. The stars ratings were created to acknowledge the accomplishments of those that were meeting Ohio’s public record and open meetings laws, and also to recognize those public bodies that were exceeding those legal standards by implementing a number of identified best practices.
Since initiation, 4,181 entities have been audited for public records compliance. More than 59% have achieved compliance meaning they have received, at minimum, a single star rating for meeting Ohio’s public record laws. This includes 559 local governments, schools, first-responder agencies, and other public bodies that have achieved a four star rating – the highest honor.
By receiving the highest award possible with a four star rating means Chagrin Falls Schools implemented five or more of these best practices…
- The public office employs a method to track public records requests, such as record requested, date received and date provided.
- To assist the public in making a request for records the public office has standard request forms that are available to requestors to use if they wish, as well as for the staff to use when a request is made via phone.
- The public office provides an acknowledgment to the requestor when a public records request is received, consistent with how the request was made.
- To assist the public in making a request for records, the public office has publicized (website, public records poster, etc.) the name or office title of the records custodian and his/her contact information. Further, the public office’s staff has been trained on how to route public records requests to the record custodian, who also has been trained on fulfilling the public records requests, including guidelines for negotiating ambiguous or large requests.
- All elected officials or their designees, as well as community school administrators, have taken the required public-records training within the applicable time frame.
- The public office has an online presence that provides the office’s agendas, policies, and schedules.
- The public office has an online presence that provides access to official documents, such as the annual budget, salaries, and contact information.