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Florida’s Public Records Act Vol. 3 – Can an Agency say No?

Can an Agency say No to a Public Records Request?

The short answer is rarely, if ever, can an agency say “no” to a public records request. The only real constraints or limitations that a person should face when asking to inspect or copy public records are guided by Section 119.07(1)(a), Florida Statutes. This statute limits inspection or copying to “any reasonable time, under reasonable conditions, and under supervision.” Otherwise, there should be no denial of a public record to anyone with a few caveats. First and foremost, the request has to be for an actual public record, not just any document. Although there are several points that could be made here, just a few are discussed below.

Florida’s Public Records Act Vol. 2 – Who has to abide by the Public Records Act?

Who has to abide by the Public Records Act?

An “agency” is defined fairly clearly by Section 119.011(2), Florida Statutes. Essentially it is any unit of state or local government and any public or private entity, i.e., person, partnership, corporation, etc., acting on behalf of any public agency. Some of the entities included within this definition are pretty obvious, but whether an entity is acting on behalf of the a public agency can be a bit tricky at times.

Florida’s Public Records Act Vol. 1 – What are public records?

What are public records?

Florida prides itself in having an open government and many of Florida’s records are open to the public. Not everything falls under the category of a public record though, and likely for good reason. Public records are defined in Section 119.011(12), Florida Statutes and are essentially any document, recording, or material of any form made or received pursuant to law or ordinance connected with the official business of any agency.

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