IRRRB relies on data to operate its programs and provide services, and the public has a right to know about agency activities. The Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, per Minn. Stat. section 13, gives everyone the right to inspect (look at) and have copies of public data that state agencies keep. This guide explains how to use these rights.
Your Right to Access Public Data
The law presumes that all government data are public unless a state or federal law says the data are not public. Government data means all recorded information a government entity has, including paper, email, CD-ROMs, photographs, etc.
We must keep all government data in a way that makes it easy for you, as a member of the public, to access public data. You have the right to inspect--free of charge--all public data that we keep. You also have the right to get copies of public data, but we are allowed to charge for copies.
How to Make a Data Request
To look at data or to request copies of data that we keep, you must make a written request. You may use the Information Request Form (pdf). If you choose not to use the form, your written request should include:
- A statement that you, as a member of the public, are making a request for data under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, Minn. Stat. section 13.
- Whether you would like to look at the data, get copies of the data, or both.
- A clear description of the data you would like to inspect or have copied.
How We Respond to a Data Request
Upon receiving your written request, we will work to process it:
- If we do not have the data, we will notify you in writing as soon as reasonably possible.
- If we have the data, but it is not public, we will notify you in writing as soon as reasonably possible and state which specific law says the data are not public. IRRRB Data Inventory (pdf)
- If we have the data, and it is public, we will respond to your request appropriately and promptly, within a reasonable amount of time, by doing one of the following:
- Arrange a date, time, and place to inspect data, for free, if your request is to look at the data, or
- Provide you with copies of the data as soon as reasonably possible. You may choose to pick up your copies, or we will mail them to you. If you want us to send you the copies, you will need to provide us with an address.
- We may charge a fee for providing copies:
- Information that is produced for public distribution (such as brochures, annual reports, etc.) is generally free.
- For public data not prepared for public distribution:
- For copies of 100 or fewer pages of black-and-white letter- or legal-sized paper copies, you must pay: $.25 for each page
- For copies of more than 100 pages, you must pay the actual cost for employee time to search for and retrieve the data; and the cost to make copies.
- Payment must be made before copies are provided.
We are not required to create or collect new data in response to a data request if we do not already have the data, or to provide data in a specific form or arrangement if we do not keep the data in that form or arrangement (for example, if the data you request are only on paper, we are not required to create electronic documents to respond to your request). In addition, we are not required to answer questions that are not requests for data.
Information Request Form (pdf)
Data Practices Coordinator:
PO Box 441
4261 Hwy 53 South
Eveleth, MN 55734