The California Legislature has declared that access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business is a right of every person in this state. The California Public Records Act, Government Code Section 6250, et seq., requires public records to be available to the public upon request. Resources Agency has established the following guidelines to ensure that members of the public fully understand and are afforded the opportunity to use their right to inspect and obtain copies of public records. A copy of these guidelines is posted in the lobby of the Resources Agency Office. A copy of these guidelines will be provided free of charge upon request.
“Public records” include any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used or retained by Resources Agency regardless of physical form or characteristics.
“Writing’ means handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostatting, photography, and every other means of recording upon any form of communication or representation, including letters, words, pictures, sounds or symbols or any combination thereof, and all papers, maps, magnetic or paper tapes, photographic films and prints, magnetic or punched cards, discs, drums and other documents.
‘Member of the public’ means any person, except a member, agent, officer, or employee of federal, state, or local agency acting within the scope of his or her membership, agency, office, or employment.
Public records are open to inspection during Resources Agency office hours, 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 12:30– 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except for state holidays. The inspection of public records is subject to a rule of reason as to time and duration and must be consistent with the efficient functioning of the Resources Agency office. Resources Agency requests any person who wishes to inspect public records to telephone the Resources Agency to schedule an appointment to inspect the records. It is the policy of the Resources Agency that records not exempt from disclosure by state law will be open for public inspection with the least possible delay and expense to the requesting party. However, many records maintained by Resources Agency must be reviewed for exempt documents before being made available for public inspection.
Persons inspecting Resources Agency records shall not destroy, mutilate, deface, alter, or remove any such records from the Resources Agency’s office. The Resources Agency reserves the right to have Resources Agency staff present during the inspection of records in order to prevent the loss or destruction of records.
All requests for records are directed to the Office of the General Counsel for review and advice. When a request for documents or records is received, it will be immediately delivered to the Office of the General Counsel.
Natural Resources Agency
Attn: Office of the General Counsel
1416 Ninth Street, Suite 1311
Sacramento, CA 95814
A request for a copy of an identifiable public record or information produced therefrom must be accompanied by payment of fees to cover the direct costs of duplication, which will be based on a fee of $.15 per standard reproduced page.
Fees for Records In Electronic Format
The requestor shall bear the direct costs of duplication of producing a copy of a record in electronic format and shall also bear the costs to construct a record and the programming and computer services necessary if:
In responding to information requests, the Resources Agency will advise the person submitting the request, by telephone or by mail as appropriate, of:
In balancing the public’s right to access public records with the recognized individual right of privacy and the need for the Resources Agency to be able to competently perform its duties, the Legislature has established certain categories of records, which may be exempt from public disclosure.
A complete list of statutory exemptions is found in the California Public Records Act. Records exempt for disclosure that pertain to the Resources Agency include, but are not limited to, the following:
The Resources Agency may claim an exemption from public disclosure records which do not qualify for a specific exemption under the California Public Records Act but which the Resources Agency determines the public interest served by not making the record public clearly outweighs the public interest served by disclosure. Records subject to exemption may nevertheless be made available for inspection if waiving the exemption will serve the public interest, as determined by the Resources Agency on a case-by-case basis. However, the Resources Agency’s determination to disclose a record, which may otherwise be exempt from disclosure, does not constitute a waiver with respect to any other records.
Under the California Public Records Act, Government Code Section 6258, any person may seek injunctive or declarative relief in any court of competent jurisdiction to enforce the right to inspect or to receive a copy of any public record.