It must make reference to all records in possession of an agency, whether or not the records are available. You have a right to know the kinds of records agencies maintain.
The subject matter list must be compiled in sufficient detail to permit you to identify the file category of the records sought, and it must be updated annually. Each state agency is required to post its subject matter list online. An alternative to and often a substitute for a subject matter list is a records retention schedule. Regulations Each agency must adopt standards based upon general regulations issued by the Committee. These procedures describe how you can inspect and copy records. In addition, the records access officer is responsible for ensuring that agency personnel assist in identifying records sought, make the records promptly available or deny access in writing, provide copies of records or permit you to make copies, certifying that a copy is a true copy and, if the records cannot be found, certify either that the agency does not have possession of the requested records or that the agency does have the records, but they cannot be found after a diligent search.
The regulations also state that the public shall continue to have access to records through officials who have been authorized previously to make information available. Requests for records An agency may ask you to make your request in writing. See Sample Request for Records. If records are kept alphabetically, a request for records involving an event occurring on a certain date might not reasonably describe the records. Locating the records in that situation might involve a search for the needle in the haystack, and an agency is not required to engage in that degree of effort.
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The responsibility of identifying and locating records sought rests to an extent upon the agency. If possible, you should supply dates, titles, file designations, or any other information that will help agency staff to locate requested records, and it may be worthwhile to find out how an agency keeps the records of your interest i. The law also provides that agencies must accept requests and transmit records requested via email when they have the ability to do so.
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See Sample Request for Records via Email. Within five business days of the receipt of a written request for a record reasonably described, the agency must make the record available, deny access in writing giving the reasons for denial, or furnish a written acknowledgment of receipt of the request and a statement of the approximate date when the request will be granted or denied, which must be reasonable in consideration of attendant circumstances, such as the volume or complexity of the request. The approximate date ordinarily cannot exceed 20 business days from the date of the acknowledgment of the receipt of a request.
When a response is delayed beyond 20 business days, it must be reasonable in relation to the circumstances of the request. If the agency fails to abide by any of the requirements concerning the time within which it must respond to a request, the request is deemed denied, and the person seeking the records may appeal the denial. Fees Copies of records must be made available on request. Fees for copies of other records may be charged based upon the actual cost of reproduction. There may be no basis to charge for copies of records that are transmitted electronically; however, when requesting electronic data, there are occasions when the agency can charge for employee time spent preparing the electronic data.
Denial of access and appeal Unless a denial of a request occurs due to a failure to respond in a timely manner, a denial of access must be in writing, stating the reason for the denial and advising you of your right to appeal to the head or governing body of the agency or the person designated to determine appeals by the head or governing body of the agency.
You may appeal within 30 days of a denial. Upon receipt of the appeal, the agency head, governing body or appeals officer has 10 business days to fully explain in writing the reasons for further denial of access or to provide access to the records. A failure to determine an appeal within 10 business days of its receipt is considered a denial of the appeal.
You may seek judicial review of a final agency denial by means of a proceeding initiated under Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules. An award of attorney fees is mandatory when the petitioner has substantially prevailed and the court finds that the agency had no reasonable basis for denying access. Although the courts are not subject to the Freedom of Information Law, section of the Judiciary Law has long required the clerk of a court to "diligently search the files, papers, records and dockets in his office" and upon payment of a fee make copies of such items.
Agencies charged with the responsibility of administering the judicial branch are not courts and therefore are treated as agencies subject to the Freedom of Information Law. Amendments that clarify and reaffirm your right to hear the deliberations of public bodies became effective in In brief, the law gives the public the right to attend meetings of public bodies, listen to the debates and watch the decision making process in action.
It requires public bodies to provide notice of the times and places of meetings, and keep minutes of all action taken. What is a meeting? Any time a quorum of a public body gathers for the purpose of discussing public business, the meeting must be convened open to the public, whether or not there is intent to take action, and regardless of the manner in which the gathering may be characterized.
The definition also authorizes members of public bodies to conduct meetings by videoconference. A meeting cannot validly be held by telephone or through the use of email. Since the law applies to "official" meetings, chance meetings or social gatherings are not covered by the law.
The Administrative Code was initially published July 1, The Administrative Code is updated with quarterly changes. The Administrative Code is published in an Internet version, available here. This version is derived from the database prepared by the North Dakota Legislative Council. The numbering system for the Administrative Code is a four-part number, with each part separated by a hyphen.
The first part refers to the title, the second to the article, the third to the chapter, and the fourth to the section. Basically, each agency is listed in alphabetical order and assigned a title number, each division or major administrative area is assigned an article number, each subject area is assigned a chapter number, and each rule is assigned a section number. Balint, U. Dotterweich, U.
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Balancing relative hardships, Congress has preferred to place it upon those who have at least the opportunity of informing themselves of the existence of conditions imposed for the protection of consumers before sharing in illicit commerce, rather than to throw the hazard on the innocent public who are wholly helpless. Although this is a doubtful proposition to begin with, the moral stakes are too high to leave such matters to guessing whether Congress truly intended to create a strict liability offense or, more likely, in the rush to pass legislation simply neglected to consider the issue.
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