Accessing Public Records
The purpose of the California Public Records Act (CPRA) is to promote “access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in this state.” (California Government Code Section 6250)
- "Public Records" includes “any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used, or retained” by the University, “regardless of physical form or characteristics.” (California Government Code Section 6252(e))
- Any person may submit a CPRA request.
- The request does not need to identify an exact record, but should be sufficiently precise to permit the University to locate the records. The request should be specific and focused and should not be unduly burdensome.
- The University will provide access to all public records upon request unless the law provides an exemption from mandatory disclosure.
- In responding to requests for University documents, the campus must balance the competing interests of (a) providing access to records about how public business is conducted, against (b) protecting the rights of privacy of an individual whose information may exist in those records.
Accessing Your University Records
The California Information Practices Act (IPA) (California Civil Code Section 1798) codifies the right to privacy guaranteed in the California Constitution (Article I, Section 1).
- Every individual has broad access rights to records containing personal information about themselves, with a limited number of exceptions. This includes, but is not limited to, University employees.
- IPA defines “records” which need to be searched and disclosed to mean “any file or grouping of information about an individual that is maintained by an agency by reference to an identifying particular such as the individual's name, photograph, finger or voice print, or a number or symbol assigned to the individual.” (California Civil Code Section 1798.3 (g))
- The individual has the right to amend records if inaccurate, or insert statements in the records if the amendment is denied.
- Personal information about others contained in such records will normally be redacted by the University before those records are released.
- Such Individual records may not normally be disclosed to a third party without the individual's consent, unless non-consented disclosure of the record is allowed under a specific exemption provided by the law.