Addressing Public Open Record Requests

Daniel Lowndes
Risk Manager, Dane County (WI) Department of Administration
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In this podcast episode, Daniel Lowndes explains the process of handling open records requests. He discusses the three steps they take when receiving a request, including searching for the record, determining exceptions to releasing the record and responding in writing. Daniel also talks about Wisconsin's balancing test, which weighs the public's interest in releasing the record against the need for confidentiality. He emphasizes the importance of protecting personal information and discusses how Dane County defends itself against litigation regarding open records.

*The views and opinions expressed in the Public Risk Management Association (PRIMA) blogs/podcasts are those of each respective author/speaker. The views and opinions do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of PRIMA.*

Daniel Lowndes
Risk Manager, Dane County (WI) Department of Administration

Dan graduated from Marquette with a degree in English literature and a minor in business administration. He immediately went to work for a company now known as Fortis, selling insurance and mutual funds in the suburbs of Chicago. He took that experience to Peterson Bank, a small family-run business just outside of Skokie, Illinois. There, Dan administered their employee benefits package, which was partially self-insured.

In 1992, Dan entered DePaul University School of Law to study health law. During his third year, he became the managing editor of the Journal of Health and Hospital Law, the then monthly publication for what is now the American Health Lawyers Association.

In 1993, Dan clerked in the Office of the Illinois Attorney General, Office of Welfare Litigation and became a special assistant attorney general upon admission to the Illinois Bar in 1995.

Dan then moved to Madison in 1996 to work in private practice, then as in-house counsel for a non-profit organization dedicated to keeping people with physical disabilities in their own homes and communities. Since 2008, he has been the risk manager for Dane County, overseeing the county's self-insured workers' compensation program as well as all other lines of coverage (general liability, property, professional liability, etc.).

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