Public Records Act Requests
The California Legislature has declared that access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in California, as set forth in Article 1, Section 3 of the California Constitution and the California Public Records Act (Gov’t. Code § 6250 et seq.).
The Public Records Act broadly defines "public records" to include written and recorded records, unless the Public Records Act or other law exempts the records from disclosure. Pursuant to Government Code section 6252(e), 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 of characteristics.” Printed and photocopied documents, internal and external correspondence, handwritten notes, computer data, electronic files, and audio and video recordings are all public records subject to disclosure unless they fall within an exemption. The Public Records Act provides for public access to records the CPUC generates, as well as records created by others that the CPUC has in its possession.
The Public Records Act provides disclosure of existing identifiable records. The CPUC is not required to prepare new records in response to a request, or to compile, synthesize, summarize, or index information or records in a form that does not exist at the time of the request.
What follows are Guidelines and Frequently Asked Questions about the Public Records Act and the process for requesting public records from the CPUC. These Guidelines are posted in the lobby of the CPUC’s headquarters, and copies will be provided free of charge upon request.