North Carolina Department of Justice
North Carolina Department of Justice
North Carolina Department of Justice
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January 8, 1976 Public Records; Application for Licensure Received by the Board of Examiners for Speech and Language Pathologists and Audiologists

 

Subject:

 

Requested by:

Mariana Newton, Ph.D., Chairman

Board of Examiners for Speech and Language Pathologists and Audiologists

Question:

Are applications for licensure received by the Board of Examiners for Speech and Language Pathologists and information received by the Board during the licensure procedure subject to public inspection and examination under G.S. 132-6?

Conclusion:

Yes.

An application for licensure and other information obtained during the licensure procedure are documents received by the Board of Examiners for Speech and Language Pathologists and Audiologists, an agency of the State of North Carolina, pursuant to authority conferred in Article 22 of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes for the purpose of licensing individuals as speech and language pathologists or audiologists. Therefore, unless other provisions of law express a contrary legislative intent, such applications for licensure and other information are "public records” as defined by G.S. 132-1 and are subject to inspection and examination under G.S. 132-6.

Article 22 of Chapter 90 does not expressly exempt such applications for licensure and other information from the definition of "public record." On the contrary, G.S. 90-292 expresses the legislative intent that the Article was enacted to safeguard the public health, to help assure the availability of qualified speech and language pathologists and audiologists, and to "...protect the public from being misled by incompetent, unscrupulous, and unauthorized persons and from unprofessional conduct on the part of qualified speech and language pathologists and audiologists." The application for licensure and other information are an integral part of the licensing procedure established to protect the public. It would be anomalous to hold that such application and other information, submitted for the protection of the public, is foreclosed from inspection by the public. The provisions of G.S. 93B-2, which require the filing of annual reports by occupational licensing boards, and G.S. 93B-3, which requires occupational licensing boards to inform requesting persons of the licensed status of any individual, are deemed to be additional duties imposed on such boards and not restrictions on access to records which are otherwise open to public inspection and examination. Therefore, it is the opinion of this Office that the application for licensure and other information described above are subject to public inspection and examination under G.S. 132-6.

 

 

Rufus L. Edmisten

Attorney General

 

Robert R. Reilly

Assistant Attorney General