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California State University, Long BeachCalifornia State University, Long Beach

Information Security

Records Management Standard

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PUBLIC RECORDS REQUESTS RESPONSE PROCEDURES

The purpose of the California Public Records Act (Act)s to promote “access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business which is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in this state.” Further, the California constitution makes clear that the public’s rights of access must be broadly construed and all exceptions narrowly construed.

There can be confusion about what constitutes a request under the Act. Obviously, something in writing that formally references the Act constitutes such a request. However, something less formal, which does not reference the Act constitutes a request. A Public Records Act request does not have to be in writing and may be made orally. However, for purposes of clarity, an individual should be asked to make the request in writing. When necessary, the record owner may be required to assist the requestor in making a focused and effective request that reasonably identifies a record or records.

All records maintained by the University are potentially subject to disclosure under this Act, including those in electronic and hard copy. There are numerous exceptions established by the Act and it is extremely important that records which are excluded from disclosure are not disclosed to the public. 

A person who has been denied access to a public record may file a lawsuit to enforce his/her right to inspect or receive a copy of the public record. If the court finds that refusal to disclose the record was unjustified, the court may enter an order requiring its disclosure. The court may also order the University to pay reasonable attorneys’ fees and court costs.

To ensure that the University produces records in accordance with the Act and does not produce records which are excluded from disclosure under the Act, University procedures which comply with both the Act and CSU policy have been established.

Procedures

These procedures are provided in general terms as the appropriate University response may vary based on the request. The Office of Information Security Management and Compliance will work closely with the records owner to ensure that the University response is made in accordance with the Act.

  1. All requests for University Records requested under the California Public Records Act received by a University office or employee must promptly be forwarded to the Office of Information Security Management and Compliance. Since the University has a legal obligation to acknowledge the request in writing within ten days from receipt, it is extremely important to avoid any delay in providing the request to the Office of Information Security Management and Compliance.
  2. The Office of Information Security Management and Compliance will take necessary action to ensure that the University meets all legal requirements of the Act including, but not limited to,
    • determining whether or not the records requested are subject to the Act;
    • providing written response to the requester within 10 days*;
    • providing notice to the Office of General Counsel; and
    • providing additional written notifications to the requestor as required by the Act.

      * Note: It is not necessary to provide the actual requested records with the ten-day initial response time. If records are available for disclosure, they must be made available for inspection or copying within a reasonable amount of time based on their volume and complexity.

  3. When a determination has been made that the records requested are subject to the Act, the Office of Information Security Management and Compliance will work with the records owner to produce and provide the record or to make the record available for inspection.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Information Security
(562) 985-4862