Public Records Request
General Guidelines for Access to Public Records
Public records maintained by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) are available for inspection by members of the public during regular business hours. Cal OES is entitled to a reasonable period of time to locate the records if not readily accessible and to determine whether they must first be reviewed, and possibly redacted, in order to protect confidential or other exempt material from improper disclosure.
To submit a Public Records Act request, or for other questions regarding the Public Records Act, please send an email to PRA@caloes.ca.gov.
Requests for inspection or copying of public records:
- Should be specific, focused and not interfere with the ordinary business operations of Cal OES. The operational functions of the department will not be suspended to permit inspection of records during periods in which the records are required by Cal OES personnel for the performance of their duties. If the request requires review of numerous records, a mutually agreeable time should be established for the inspection of the records.
- Should sufficiently describe records so that identification, location and retrieval of the records can be achieved without undue burden. Reasonable assistance shall be given to the requestor to help him or her satisfy this requirement.
- Should be reduced to writing unless the request involves records that are readily available for immediate public inspection. (The requestor may be asked, but cannot be required, to submit the request in writing. If the requestor refuses, the person handling the request should record the information for record keeping purposes.)
Cal OES may refuse to disclose any records that are exempt from disclosure under the Public Records Act. It may also delay responding to a request when necessary to determine whether any such exemptions apply.
Physical inspection of the records shall be permitted within Cal OES offices and under the conditions determined by Cal OES. Upon either the completion of the inspection or at the request of Cal OES personnel, the person conducting the inspection shall relinquish physical possession of the records. Persons inspecting agency records shall not destroy, mutilate, deface, alter, or remove any such records from Cal OES. Cal OES reserves the right to have agency personnel present during the inspection of records in order to prevent the loss or destruction of records.
Upon any request for a physical copy of records, Cal OES personnel shall provide copies of the records only upon payment of a fee covering the costs of duplication, including reimbursement for the cost of any staff directly involved in the effort to duplicate the records. This requirement may be waived where the cost is minimal. There is no charge for the mere inspection of records.
Persons found guilty of stealing, willfully destroying, mutilating, defacing, altering or falsifying, removing or secreting the whole or any part of a document, map, book, paper or other record, or who permits any other person to do so, is punishable by imprisonment in state prison, or in a county jail, not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding $1,000, or by both fine and imprisonment (Government Code sections 6200-6201).
A copy of these guidelines shall be posted in a conspicuous public place in each regional office of the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services . Copies shall also be made available free of charge to any person requesting a copy.