5000 REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION UNDER THE CALIFORNIA PUBLIC RECORDS ACT
The California Public Records Act (PRA), Government Code section 6250 et seq., while protecting individuals' rights to privacy, provides that access to information concerning the conduct of the people's business is a fundamental and necessary right to every person in this State. "Public records" includes any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public's business prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristics. Not all public records are available for inspection/disclosure; some public records, or portions of public records, are exempt from disclosure by law. In all cases the requester will receive a written response. If documents or portions of documents are exempt from disclosure, the reason(s) for the exemption(s) will be contained in the department's written response.
There are various categories of documents, which are exempt from the disclosure requirements of the Public Records Act. The exceptions are set forth in Government Code section 6254. The following is a partial list of them. This list is not exhaustive, and it does not include a discussion of limiting or expansive conditions, which may be applicable to any particular category of documents.
- Preliminary drafts of intra-agency memoranda not retained by the agency in the normal course of its business;
- Records pertaining to either pending litigation in which the public agency is a party or to claims made against the agency;
- Personnel, medical or similar files, the disclosure of which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
- Certain records pertaining to complaints or investigations conducted by, or intelligence and security procedures pertaining to, the office of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice or other state and local law enforcement agencies;
- Certain test questions, scoring keys, and other data pertaining to licensing, employment and academic examinations;
- Certain appraisals, engineering or feasibility estimates and evaluations made for or by the state or local agencies;
- Information obtained from taxpayers in connection with local tax collection activities the disclosure of which would result in an unfair competitive disadvantage to the person providing the information;
- Records privileged or prohibited from disclosure pursuant to state or federal law, including, but not limited to the California Evidence Code;
- Certain correspondence of and to the Governor or employees of the Governor's office;
- Personal financial data required by a licensing agency and filed by or on behalf of an applicant with the licensing agency to establish required qualifications, or which might subject the applicant to competitive disadvantage if disclosed;
- Records the disclosure of which is exempted or prohibited pursuant to federal or state law, including, but not limited to, provisions of the Evidence Code relating to privilege;
- Records of state agencies pertaining to a special negotiator's deliberative processes, impressions, evaluations, opinions, recommendations, meetings, research, work product, theories, or strategies, or that provide instruction, advice or training to certain employees;
- Information security records for state agencies that may disclose an information security vulnerability in the agency.
The Disclosure Officer is responsible for administration of the PRA. The Disclosure Office's address is:
Franchise Tax Board
Disclosure Section MS A181
P.O. Box 1468
Sacramento, CA 95812-1468
A requester may review the department's non-exempt public records at the headquarters office during the department's regular business hours. There is no charge for review. Members of the public should be encouraged to schedule an appointment in order for documents to be located, assembled, and reviewed for exempt material, and in order to reserve a place for the member of the public to review the documents.
All other requests under the PRA for copies of public records should be made by the requester in writing, in order for staff to provide the most comprehensive and accurate response. Oral requests will be honored, however. The requester must sufficiently describe the records in order for identification and retrieval of the records. All records must be reviewed to determine whether they contain any exempt material prior to copies being made for a member of the public. Requests are to be directed to the Disclosure Officer.
Fees for copies are as follows:
Statement of Financial Interests: 1 to 99 pages - no charge; 100 or more pages - 10 cents per page.
Board meeting transcripts: 1 to 99 pages - no charge; 100 or more pages - 10 cents per page.
All Other Documents: 10 cents per page.