Guidelines to Access Public Records

Public records in the possession of the Department of Finance (Department) which are not exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act shall be available for inspection, and copies of such public records shall be provided, pursuant to these guidelines. These guidelines are posted in all Department offices and on the Department’s public website ( A copy of these guidelines is available upon request without cost.

Requesting Inspection or Copies of Public Records – Requests should be sufficiently specific and focused to enable identification, location, and retrieval of the public records sought. If a request is not specific and focused, Department staff will:  (1) assist the requester to identify public records that are responsive to the request or to the purpose of the request, (2) describe the information technology or physical location in which the public records exist, and (3) provide suggestions for overcoming any practical barriers to disclosure of the public records sought.

The Department does not supplement responses to previous requests when new records are created or received. A separate request must be submitted each time records are sought. To ensure accuracy in responding to a request for public records, the Department encourages all requests to be submitted in writing, including by facsimile or by electronic mail. Requests may also be made orally, by telephone or in person. Please direct requests to:  Department of Finance, Administrative Officer, 915 L Street, 10th Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814. Business:  (916) 445-8918, Fax:  (916) 445-0870,

Public Records Exempt from Disclosure – The Department may refuse to disclose records which are exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act (see for example Government Code sections 6254 and 6255).

Inspecting Public Records – Public records in the possession of the Department which are not exempt from disclosure shall be available for inspection during the normal business hours of the Department (8 A.M. to 5 P.M., Monday through Friday). If the request seeks inspection of numerous records, a mutually agreeable time shall be established for the inspection. Departmental functions will not be disrupted to permit inspection of records, and records will not be available for inspection during periods when the records are required by Department personnel in the performance of their duties. Records will not be removed from the possession of the Department. A Department employee will be present during the inspection of records to prevent the loss or destruction of records.

Obtaining Copies of Public Records – Copies of public records that are not exempt from disclosure will be provided at the cost of 10 cents per page for duplication. After the Department determines the number of pages of records responsive to a request, the Department may require the requester to pay the duplication costs before the copies are made and provided. The Department does not accept payment of estimated duplication costs at the time a request is submitted.

Obtaining Public Records in Electronic Format – If a request seeks public records in an electronic format, the Department will provide those public records that are not exempt from disclosure in an electronic format if the Department has them in that format at the time the request is received. If the Department does not have a public record in an electronic format, but another state entity may, the Department will assist the requester in contacting that state entity.