In general, "public records," include any writing containing information relating to District business prepared, owned, used, or retained by the District. "Writings" are defined by the Public Records Act as handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, and every other means of recording including letters, pictures, sounds or symbols, and all papers, maps, tapes, film and prints, cards, discs, drums, and other documents.
"Public records," "records," and "writings" are used synonymously in this policy as matter of convenience.
A. Records Distributed for Use of Public Meetings
Agendas of public meetings and other records when distributed to the Governing Board by a member, officer, employee, or agent of the District, for discussion or consideration at a public meeting are public records as soon as distributed.
These records,when distributed prior to commencement of a public meeting, shall be available for public inspection without delay.
Records prepared by the Board or District distributed during a public meeting shall be made available at the meeting. Records prepared by other persons shall be made available as soon as practicable after the meeting.
B. Closed Session Writings
Records distributed prior to or during closed sessions of the Governing Board which are related to closed session matters are confidential in nature and may be disclosed only as authorized by law as expressed in Board Policy 1040.
At closed sessions of the Governing Board, those attorney-client communications which relate to subject matters authorized for discussion in closed session or which relate to pending litigation shall be privileged and not subject to disclosure.
C. Availability of Other Records of the District
Copies of writings which are public records of the District are available upon request during office hours at the Office of the Superintendent/President.
All requests for public records shall be in writing. A form for this purpose will be provided by the District.
Requests must include the date of the request, the name of the person making the request and must reasonably describe identifiable records, for example, the annual budget, board minutes for a particular meeting or within a general time frame, resolutions or policies covering specific subject matters, specific communications, etc. Any reasonably segregable portion of a public record shall be provided after deletion of any portions exempt by law.
Requests must be specific in nature and, to the extent reasonably possible, provide a description, title, or subject matter, and the date or time frame of the requested records.
Except for public records which are immediately or reasonably available, the District will fulfill requests within 10 working days from the date of the request. This period of time particularly extends to requests which involve segregation of records or which involve appreciable time and effort in searching, identifying, and/or locating records. The date of the fulfillment of the request will be noted.
During meetings of the Governing Board, public records shall be distributed upon request to persons in attendance.
Certain public records are exempt from disclosure by express statutory provision. Among them are personnel, medical or similar files, the disclosure of which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, records pertaining to actual or pending litigation and claims (until the litigation or claim is finally adjudicated or settled), student records, collective bargaining and real estate negotiations, and privileged material authorized by the Evidence Code.
In general, records are confidential in nature and not subject to disclosure when they are declared exempt by statutory provision or when, by their nature and content, the public interest in withholding the information clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosing it.
Included in personnel files: are evaluations of work performance and complaints or charges brought against employees, unless in the latter instance the employee concerned requests a public hearing.
Privileged materials authorized for non-disclosure include attorney-client communications, as authorized by Section 950 et seq., Evidence Code, and the official information privilege authorized by Section 1040 et seq., Evidence Code.
E. Disputed Requests for Records
Requests for records which appear to be confidential or exempt from disclosure shall be approved or denied within 10 days after receipt of the request. The Superintendent-President shall notify the person making the request of such determination and the reasons for it.
The 10-day period for review of disputed requests may be extended for not more that 10 additional days under these circumstances as prescribed by Section 6256.1, Government Code:
a. where there is a need to search for and collect the requested records from field facilities or other establishments separate from the office processing the request;
b. where there is a need to search for, collect, and examine a voluminous amount of separate and distinct records demanded in a single request;
c. where there is a need for consultation, with all practicable speed, with another agency having a substantial interest in the matter, or among two or more components of the agency having such interest.
Written notice of any such extension shall be given by the Superintendent-President to the person making the request setting forth the reasons for the extension and the date on which a determination is expected.
Public records shall be made available upon payment of fees covering direct costs of duplication.
The Superintendent/President has established procedures for the implementation of this policy. The procedures are located in the Office of the Superintendent/President.
The Public Records Act (# 6250 et seq., Govt. Code)
The Brown Act (# 54950 et seq., Govt. Code)
Evidence Code (# 950 et seq.; 1040 et seq.)
Board Policy # 1040 FOR INFORMATION
Revised and Adopted: 11-3-92, 4-4-95, 7-1-96