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On July 30, 2015, Governor Baker issued a memo to cabinet secretaries which presented guidelines on how state agencies should respond to public records requests.

 

Under these guidelines:

  • Secretariats and agencies will designate a Records Access Officer (RAO) to receive and coordinate requests
  • Secretariats and agencies through their RAO will notify a requester within 5 days if the records they are seeking may take more than 10 days and/or $10 to produce. Requests should be fulfilled in no more than eight weeks, with any extension being explained to a requester in writing.
  • Secretariats and agencies will regularly make available frequently requested information and/or records on their website and provide information as able, in electronic, searchable formats.
  • The administration will waive search and retrieval fees for standard public records requests, provide at no cost the first 4 hours of work required for more complex requests, and charge no more than $25 per hour for additional time required and notify the requester of those costs in advance.
  • The administration will implement standardized production costs in response to public records requests, and in the interest of cost savings and environmental purposes, fulfill requests electronically as able.
    • Electronic Copies: No charge for duplication
    • 1-4 precisely defined documents: No charge
    • Black and White Hard Copies: 10 cents per page for single- and double-sided copies.
    • Color Hard Copies: 50 cents per page

The first four weeks after July 30 are to be used to put necessary procedures and systems in place. “Public record requests made subsequent to that four week period will be subject to the terms of this Memorandum.”

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