Notice of Public Records Access

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The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) was created by Chapter 580, Laws of 1945, to ensure that the state's veterans receive the state benefits to which they are entitled and to assist them in securing their federal veterans benefits. The department's programs, benefits, and services are generally designed to provide health, educational assistance, economic assistance, and other services to specified veterans of the armed forces of the United States.

This notice covers all WDVA divisions: Office of the Secretary, Division of Enterprise Services, Division of Veterans Benefits, Division of Veterans Homes, and the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. ​

State Public Offices.  The following WDVA Positions constitute state public offices:

  • Secretary
  • Deputy Secretary
  • Assistant Deputy Secretary
  • Administrator of the Division Enterprise Services
  • Administrator of the Division of Veterans Benefits
  • Administrator of the Division of Veterans Homes
  • Director of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum
  • Chief Legal Counsel
  • Communication Director
In the State of Wisconsin, laws exist to ensure that government is open and that the public has a right to access appropriate records and information possessed by state government. At the same time, there are exceptions to the public's right to access public records that serve various needs: the privacy of individuals is included among these exceptions. Exceptions are provided by both state and federal laws.

WDVA strives to protect personally identifiable information by collecting only information necessary to deliver our services. All information collected at this site becomes public record that may be subject to inspection and copying by the public unless an exemption in law exists.

In the event of a conflict between this Privacy Notice and the Wisconsin Open Records Law or other law governing the disclosure of records, the Wisconsin Open Records Law or other applicable law will control.


 

  • As soon as practicable and without delay, the custodian will either notify you of the availability of the records requested or deny the request in whole or in part because the records do not exist or are not accessible under the public records law.
  • The time it takes the custodian to respond to a request will depend on factors including the nature and extent of the request, the availability of staff, and other resources necessary to process the request. If the custodian denies a written request, the requester may receive the reasons for the denial in writing. If redaction is necessary, WDVA will provide the reasons for the redaction in writing.
  • When practicable, WDVA will email electronic copies of records that already exist in electronic format, without charging reproduction fees on a per-page basis for providing such copies; however, WDVA may charge for staff time, costs for postage or delivery services, and other actual costs to copy records from one electronic format to another electronic format and/or physical media.
  • When clarification of a request is required, WDVA will make reasonable efforts to communicate with the requester as soon as practicable to clarify what the requester is asking for, to avoid the delays that requesters may experience due to inefficiencies created by miscommunication.
  • When a requester asks for an update on the status of the request, WDVA will respond to the requester within 5 business days.

This notice is provided pursuant to § 19.34, Wisconsin Statutes. Additional information can be obtained from the Wisconsin Department of Justice's Office of Open Records.

Public Records Metrics
Total number of public records requests received for the quarter (7/01/2022 - 9​​/30/2022):12
Total number of public records requests completed:​14​
Average length​ of time taken to fulfill public records requests this quarter:16 busine​ss days
Percentage of public records requests acknowledged within one business day:92%
Perc​​entage​​ of public records requests fulfilled or res​ponded to within 10 business days:​​ 72%

The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA) is committed to the principles of open government and accountability. All records created or maintained by the WDVA and its employees in connection with the transaction of public business are subject to public inspection and are subject to federal and state laws and regulations that prohibit disclosure. The working principle is that unless a record is subject to an exception from disclosure under the open records laws, the record may be released to the public. 

The WDVA website provides a great deal of information about WDVA activities and can provide direct access to public records related to these activities, operations, and decisions. Much of the information is publicly available on our website and does not require an Open Records request​. ​

Request​ for Military Service ​​Records
(Requests for military service records are handled outside of the Open Records Request process and require completion of a release form - WDVA 1045. Questions on the form may be directed to the Veterans Benefits Resource Center (VBRC) at 1-800-WIS-VETS (947-8387) or WisVets@dva.wisconsin.gov. )
WDVA 1045 Form
DVA Records Disposition Authorization (RDA) Reports 

https://publicrecordsboard.wi.gov/Pages/Agency/RDAList.aspx
DVA Past Public Records Requests
​Click on tab below: "Public Records Requests - Open or Closed"
DVA Audit Reports LegislativeAuditKing.pdf
LegislativeAuditKingResponse.pdf
DVA Biennial Reportshttps://doa.wi.gov/Pages/2019-21-B​​iennial-Reports.aspx
Board of Veterans Affairs: Agendas and meeting minuteshttp://dva.state.wi.us/Pages/aboutWdva/BoardofVeteransAffairs.aspx
Council on Veterans Programs: Agendas and meeting minuteshttp://dva.state.wi.us/Pages/aboutWdva/CouncilonVeteransPrograms.aspx
DVA Administrative Rules - Public Comments and Hearing Notices 
https://dva.wi.gov/Pages/newsMedia/PublicComments.aspx
Claims Office Accreditation Approvals
https://www.va.gov/ogc/apps/accreditation/

Annual "Consumer Information Report for all facilities Nursing Homes"
(Released by DHS every spring and covers recruitment, retention, staffing, and results of inspections.)

https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/guide/cir.htm 

Public Meeting Notices and Minuteshttps://publicmeetings.wi.gov/
Governor Evers' Open Book website - search of all state expenditureshttp://openbook.wi.gov/

The WDVA designates Legal Records Custodians to satisfy its obligations under State public records laws. Members of the public may request an inspection of the WDVA’s Public Records or request copies of these records by using our Public Records Request website. Requests may also be made to the WDVA’s Records Custodians during the WDVA’s office hours of Monday through Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Open Records Requests will be processed as soon as practicable and without delay. If an Open Records Request is submitted via postal mail, there may be additional handling delays.

Requests for public records should be sent to: 

Records Custodian
2135 Rimrock​​​​ Road
P.O. Box 7843 
Madison, WI 53707-7843
DVAPublicRecords@dva.wisconsin.gov


Public Records Request Fee Schedule

The law authorizes fees for “actual, necessary, and direct” costs associated with responding to public records requests.  When requested and whenever practicable, WDVA will provide electronic copies of records that already exist in electronic format without  per-page​ fees​.  WDVA will not charge for the cost of reviewing records for possible redaction or removal of confidential information.  W​DVA will not convert non-paper records to paper for requests to inspect.​

​Hard
Copies
​Includes any paper records provided by:
  • ​Copying a paper record
  • Printing an electronic record​
​$0.15 ​page
​​​Electronic Copies
​ ​ ​
​Includes any electronic records provided by Email, PDF, CD or DVD, Flash drive, or other electronic format. 
​​Paper to Digital
Includes scanning physical documents and saving them into a digital format. 
​$0.07 per page 
​Digital to Physical
Includes records already in digital format burned to CD or DVD or copying to Flash drive. 
$1.87 transfer fee plus cost of physical medium:
CD or DVD (each)                                       $0.14
Flash drive (each)                                      
 $5.25 (2 GB)
                                                                      $5.53 (4 GB)
                                                                      $5.60 (8 GB)
                                                                      $6.29 (16 GB)
                                                                    $10.49 (32 GB)
                                                                    $19.59 (64 GB)

​Digital to Digital 
Includes copying records from one digital format to another.
​Fee waived
​Locations Fees
If the cost of locating responsive records is less than $50​.00 there is no cost to the requester.  ​
Any staff time for locating records will be billed at the hourly pay rate (including fringe benefits) for the lowest-paid employee capable of performing the task, but no higher than $30 per hour.​  This includes reviewing records to determine responsive or non-responsive status. ​

State Records Center retrieval​ fee if necessary $3.05 per box. 
Postage Fees
​​​Postage fees will be the actual cost or postage, courier, or delivery services. 
Payment
​​​Requests that exceed a total cost of $5.00 require prepayment with settlement of payment after total cost is finalized. ​
WDVA only accepts checks or money orders ​payable to: Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs.

When submitting an Open Records Request, be sure to provide enough information so that we can efficiently process your request. The following considerations may help you formulate your request for an expedited response: 

  • A request must reasonably describe the records sought; e.g., specific documents concerning a specific subject matter AND time frame​​.
  • Include in your request the date(s) or date range of records you are seeking.
  • Include in your request the WDVA program or benefit (if applicable) for the records you are seeking.
  • Include in your request the names and/or titles of WDVA personnel who may have had knowledge or involvement regarding the records you are seeking.
  • Include in your request the date(s) of the event(s) that are the subject of the request.
  • Include any other descriptive information about the subject or topic of interest.
  • Include your contact information, including name and address or email. If an email address is provided, WDVA will provide the responsive records electronically to the email provided in your request, unless otherwise indicated. 
  • ​Note: If you are aware of a specific document or record, please indicate the time frame, subject matter, and author (if known) when entering your request, as this will assist us to identify the specific record you are requesting and will expedite the location process. If you are not aware of a specific document or record, or if you cannot identify the time frame, subject matter, or author, we can work with you to clarify your request by recommending specific search terms in order to provide you the records that you seek and avoid prohibitive location costs.
  • Withheld Records: WDVA does not release personnel records (with limited exceptions) including personal information (e.g., home address, personal phone numbers, social security number), information about current investigations, employment examinations, and staff management planning.
  • WDVA does not release records subject to an attorney-client privilege or deemed attorney work product. 
  • Redacted Information: Information redacted from records includes, but not limited to, names of members residing at a Wisconsin Veterans Home, an individual's birth date, social security numbers, personal health and medical information and any information protected under HIPAA Law, federal employment identification numbers, account numbers, and routing numbers.​
  • Information not on record: WDVA is not required to create a new record by extracting and compiling information from existing records into a new format or record.
  • Format: When requested and whenever practical, WDVA will provide electronic copies of records that already exist in an electronic format.