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Purpose: To provide general guidelines for members of the City/District staff for responding to formal requests for public records in compliance with the Public Records Act.
Background: The Public Records Act (California Government Code 6250 et seq) is based upon the principle that "access to information concerning the conduct of the people's business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in this state."The Public Records Act establishes how the City/District must maintain public records and provide assistance to the public in accessing those records.
Public Records include "any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public's business prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state of local agency regardless of physical form or characteristics." (California Government Code 6252 (e))
Writing means "any electronic mail or facsimile, and every other means of recording upon any tangible thing any form of communication or representation, including letters, words, pictures, sounds,or symbols, or combinations thereof, and any record thereby created, regardless of the manner in which the record has been stored." (California Government Code6252 (g))
Exempt Writings: The Public Records Act does provide an exemption for certain categories of "writings" in California Government Code 6254et seq. For example, communications from the City Attorney/District Legal Counsel's Office may be considered exempt if they are subject to Attorney/Client Privilege. Personnel and medical records are exempt if their disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. If you are not certain whether a writing is exempt, consult the City Clerk or City Attorney.
If the document(s) you are requesting are not available online, please fill out our Public Records Act Request Form.
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City Hall - 610 Foster City Blvd.
Foster City, CA 94404