Open Records ss. 19.31 - 19.39 Wisconsin Statute

Department Organization
The Department is organized into six Divisions plus the Office of Policy Initiatives and Budget (OPIB), the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), and the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). The Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Assistant Deputy Secretary, and Division Administrators hold "state public offices" as defined in the statutes. The administrator of each division is the legal custodian of the records of that division, and the Director of OPIB, the Director of OIG, and Chief Counsel of the OLC are the legal custodians of the records of their respective offices. In some parts of the Department, the legal custodians have delegated their authority to deputy custodians. The legal custodians and their deputies are responsible for deciding whether requested records can be disclosed to the public and for ensuring that record requests are processed appropriately.

The Division of Enterprise Services (DES) provides personnel, financial, audit, purchasing, contract administration, information technology, and other administrative services to the Department. Record Custodian, room 672; 608-266-8445.

The Division of Health Care Access and Accountability (DHCAA) administers essential health and nutrition programs to include Medicaid, BadgerCare Plus, SeniorCare and Foodshare to children, low-income families and elderly, and persons with disabilities. Record Custodian, room 350; 608-266-8922.

The Division of Long Term Care (DLTC) is responsible for planning and implementing services to meet the long-term support needs of the elderly and persons with developmental, physical, or sensory disabilities. DLTC also provides services through three developmental disability centers. Record Custodian, room 550; 608-266-5383.

The Division of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (DMHSAS) is responsible for planning and implementing services to meet the need of persons with mental health and substance abuse problems. DMHSAS also provides services through two mental health institutes and the two secure treatment centers to mentally ill patients and sexually violent persons, as well as correctional clients. Record Custodian, room 850; 608-267-0213.

The Division of Public Health (DPH) administers public health programs, including communicable disease, environmental, occupational, and family/community health, chronic disease, disease/injury prevention, emergency medical services, the vital records system, and certain health planning systems. Record Custodian, room 250; 608-267-7828

The Division of Quality Assurance (DQA) is responsible for oversight of most health care facilities and providers licensed to conduct business in Wisconsin. Record Custodian, room 450; 608-266-7952

The Office of Policy Initiatives and Budget (OPIB) develops the Department's budget, manages implementation of federal block grants, oversees tribal affairs and the e-Health Initiative and conducts policy research and analysis. Record Custodian, room 618; 608-266-3816.

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) conducts audits of providers who receive department funds, performs internal audits of department programs and operations, and investigates allegations of fraud, waste, or abuse of DHS resources by contractors, providers, and recipients. Record Custodian, room 950; 608-261-8308.

The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) provides legal advice and representation to the Department. Record Custodian, room 651; 608-267-5093.

Record Access Rights
Record requests may be made orally unless security requirements or an applicable law necessitates a written request. If you are denied access to a record, you must be informed of the legal basis for the denial. If your request was in writing, you may appeal the denial by bringing an action for mandamus in the circuit court of the county in which the record is held. You may also submit a written request to that county's District Attorney or to the state Attorney General to bring a mandamus action.

Office Hours
Records can be requested during normal office hours. Department offices are open 7:45 AM-11:45 AM and 12:30 PM-4:30 PM, Monday through Friday, except holidays. Some records may only be available at the Department's main offices at 1 West Wilson Street, P.O. Box 7850, Madison, Wisconsin 53707.

If no other copy fee is set by law, the usual charge for each side of a photocopied page is 25 cents. If a record is in a form that cannot be photocopied, you may be charged the actual cost of producing a copy. In addition, if copies are mailed or shipped to you, you may be asked to pay for the actual cost of the mailing or shipping. If a fee for locating a record is set by law, you will be charged that fee; otherwise, the cost of locating a record may be charged only if the actual cost of locating the record is $50 or more. Prepayment of costs may be required if total costs exceed $5 or if otherwise required by law. The Department will not charge for the cost of reviewing records for possible redaction or removal of confidential information.

If you have questions or if you require assistance accessing Department of Health Services public records, please contact the specific division or office identified above.

Last Revised: March 14, 2016