The California Public Records Act is legislation that ensures public records maintained by Governmental bodies are available for public access without hindrance or restriction.
The California Legislature has declared that access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in California, as set forth in Article 1, Section 3 of the California Constitution and the California Public Records Act (Gov’t. Code § 6250 et seq.).
In accordance with Government Code section 6252(e), public records “includes any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form of characteristics.” Printed and photocopied documents, internal and external correspondence, handwritten notes, computer data, electronic files, and audio and video recordings are all public records subject to disclosure unless they fall within an exemption. The Public Records Act provides for public access to records the District generates, as well as records created by others that the District has in its possession.
The Public Records Act provides disclosure of existing identifiable records. The District is not required to prepare new records in response to a request, or to compile, synthesize, summarize, or index information or records in a form that does not exist at the time of the request.