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Data Request Policy

Right to Access Public Data

The Data Practices Act (Minnesota Statutes, chapter 13) presumes that all government data are public unless a state or federal law says the data are not public. Government data is a term that means all recorded information a government entity has, including paper, email, CD-ROMs, photographs, etc.

You have the right to look at (inspect), free of charge, all public data that we keep. You also have the right to get copies of public data. The Data Practices Act allows us to charge for copies. You have the right to look at data, free of charge, before deciding to request copies. 

Requesting Specific Types of Data 

You may request specific types of data, ask for specific documents or portions of documents, and/or ask for entire records, files or data bases. You do not have to give a reason for requesting public data and you do not have to give your name; however, some contact information may be needed depending on how you pay for copies or if copies are mailed, emailed or faxed. Please clarify when making a request whether you would like to inspect the data, receive copies, or both.

The Data Practices Act does not require us to answer questions that are not requests for data. The Data Practices Act also does not require us 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 on paper only, we are not required to create electronic documents to respond to your request.) We will try to work with you to satisfy the specifics of your request.  

Cost of Copies of Data 

The Office of Administrative Hearings will provide copies of public data upon request. If you request copies or electronic transmittal of data, we may require you to pay the actual costs of searching for and retrieving government data, including the cost of employee time, and for making, certifying, and electronically transmitting the copies of the data or the data.  We will not charge for separating public from not public data.

The actual costs of providing copies of the data will only be charged when more than 100 pages of copies are requested (if double-sided, both sides are counted). For 100 or fewer copies, the Office of Administrative Hearings charges 25 cents per page. If the cost is $50 or greater, the Office of Administrative Hearings requires prepayment prior to providing the requested copies.

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