Public Records Act Guidelines

INTRODUCTION


In enacting the California Public Records Act, the Legislature stated that access to information concerning the conduct of the people's business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in this state. In 2004, this policy was made part of the Constitution of the State of California. In furtherance of this principal, it is the policy of the State that governmental records shall be disclosed to the public upon request unless there is a specific reason not to do so.

Notwithstanding its commitment to transparency, the California Gambling Control Commission (Commission) must comply with its responsibilities to protect information which is confidential within its possession. The Gambling Control Act1, with certain exceptions, specifically exempts the records of the Commission from disclosure under the California Public Records Act. It also makes it a misdemeanor for an officer or employee of the Commission to knowingly disclose or furnish records or information to a person not authorized by law to receive it, except as necessary for the administration of the Gambling Control Act .2

Provided below are the guidelines for requesting access to inspect and/or obtain copies of public records maintained by the Commission. Commission staff is available to assist persons to make focused and effective requests that reasonably describe identifiable records. As noted above, many Commission records are exempt from disclosure under the California Public Records Act, the Gambling Control Act, and the Tribal-State Gaming Compacts. Therefore, whether a request to review records is made in person, by mail, or by other means, it may be necessary for Commission staff to review the requested records to determine whether those exemptions apply before the records can be made available for viewing or copies can be provided.

HOW TO REQUEST ACCESS TO A PUBLIC RECORD

Written requests to inspect or obtain a copy of a public record may be submitted by one of the following methods:

Mail:
CALIFORNIA GAMBLING CONTROL COMMISSION
2399 GATEWAY OAKS DR STE 220
SACRAMENTO, CA95833-4231
Attention: Public Records Coordinator

Fax: 916-263-0499

E-mail: publicrecords@cgcc.ca.gov

The written request need not be in any particular form, but should sufficiently describe the requested records to enable Commission staff to identify and locate the records sought. The request should include a telephone number or email address where the person requesting the record can be reached to discuss the request.

Public records requests may also be made in person at the Commission's office. It is advisable to contact the Public Records Coordinator in advance at (916) 263-8111 to help facilitate the request.

COMMISSION'S RESPONSE TO PUBLIC RECORDS REQUESTS

If the records are clearly disclosable, they will be made available as soon as possible. However, in most cases, staff will have to review the records to determine whether all or part may be privileged, confidential, or otherwise exempt from disclosure.

Within 10 days from the date the request is received, the Commission will determine whether the request, in whole or in part, seeks copies of disclosable public records in the Commission's possession and notify the requestor of such determination. In unusual circumstances, the 10-day time limit may be extended up to an additional 14 days by written notice to the requestor, setting forth the reason for the time extension. The Commission may request additional information if the request is not specific enough to permit the identification of the requested records.

If the Commission determines it can comply with the request, the records will be made available as promptly as is reasonably practicable. While the Commission will disclose identifiable and existing records, the Commission is not required to synthesize, manufacture, or summarize records, i.e., develop new records in response to a request.

Requests may be denied if the records are determined to be privileged, confidential, or otherwise exempt from disclosure, or are not found in the Commission's possession. The requestor will be notified if a determination is made to deny the entire request.

REQUESTS TO VIEW PUBLIC RECORDS

Public records may be reviewed at the Commission's office during regular office hours, which are generally weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., excluding holidays. Persons interested in viewing public records are encouraged to make an appointment in advance. Appointments can be made by contacting the Public Records Coordinator at 916-263-8111. Please be aware that the Public Records Act does not provide a right for the public to enter or inspect Commission offices or files.

Appointments are not mandatory, but they will help Commission staff facilitate the request. If you have made an appointment, please arrive at the Commission's office at your appointment time. A designated area of the office will be made available for review of the requested documents. Failure to make an appointment in advance may result in a delay while the records are located and reviewed.

Please be aware that it is a crime to steal, remove, destroy, mutilate, deface, alter, or falsify Commission records.

In some cases, Commission staff may be assigned to observe the record review in order to protect the integrity of the record. Your assistance in maintaining the integrity of the Commission's records is appreciated..

REQUESTS FOR COPIES OF PUBLIC RECORDS

The Commission will make copies of disclosable records for members of the public upon request. The California Public Records Act provides that copies of records will be made promptly available upon payment of fees that cover the direct costs of duplication.

Members of the public may also pay bonded copy service companies to come to the Commission's office to make copies. If you wish to bring your own copier to the Commission's office, we recommend that you call in advance to make arrangements.

A public record that is not exempt from disclosure that is in an electronic format will be made available in an electronic format, if requested, but only if producing the record in such format does not jeopardize the security or integrity of the record or any proprietary software. The requestor will be charged the cost of producing an electronic copy of the record.

YOU MAY CHALLENGE THE COMMISSION'S DETERMINATION NOT TO DISCLOSE RECORDS

Under the California Public Records Act any person may seek injunctive or declarative relief in any court of competent jurisdiction to enforce the right to inspect or to receive a copy of any public record.

POSTING

These guidelines are to be posted in a conspicuous public place at the office of the Commission. They are available free of charge to any person who requests them. These guidelines are also available on the Commission's website at (www.cgcc.ca.gov).


1Bus. & Prof. Code section 19800 et seq.
2Bus. & Prof. Code section 19821