Public Record Requests
California Public Records Act
MCAG responds to requests for public records per the California Public Records Act - a series of laws meant to guarantee that the public has access to public records of governmental bodies in California. "Records" include all communications related to public business "regardless of physical form or characteristics, including any writing, picture, sound or symbol, whether paper.. magnetic or other media."
Upon receiving a request for public information, public agencies have the discretion to not disclose certain information. Statute 6255 states "The agency shall justify withholding any record by demonstrating that the record in question is exempt under express provisions of this chapter, or that on the facts of the particular case the public interest served by not disclosing the record clearly outweighs the public interest served by disclosure of the record."
According to state law, anyone can request public documents in California, and a purpose does not have to be stated. The California Public Records Act does not regulate the use of records obtained from public agencies.
How to request public records from MCAG
Requests for public information can be made to MCAG in writing (letter or email), over the phone, or in-person at the MCAG office. Upon receiving the request, MCAG will send a confirmation letter (by postal mail or email) to the requester within 10 days. The confirmation letter will provide the date by which the requested information will be made available, and how the information will be provided (electronic or hard copy). The letter will also notify the requester of any information the agency may choose to withhold and the non-disclosure justification.
Per state law, the agency has 10 days to decide if copies of the requested information will be provided. In cases where the request is considered voluminous, includes records kept off-site, or requires consultation with other agencies, MCAG may, upon written notice to the requester, give itself an additional 14 days to respond.
When applicable, records will be provided electronically through email or via file-sharing. If hard copies are requested, there will be a charge to cover the direct costs associated with duplication. The printing and photocopying fee currently is $0.10/page, if the record is larger than 8 ½ inches by 14 inches, then MCAG will determine the direct cost of duplicating that record regardless of the quantity of pages. All requests for records that result in duplication of 100 or more pages require prepayment of $10.00. MCAG will provide an invoice for any charges due, including the direct cost to mail documents if the requester chooses not to pick them up at the MCAG offices. These charges are due and payable upon receipt of the invoice and must be paid prior to duplication.
To request public information, please contact Mary-Michal Rawling, Public Affairs Manager, by one of the methods below:
Mail: Merced County Association of Governments
369 W 18th Street
Merced, CA 95340
Phone: 209-723-3153, ext. 119