Public Records Requests
PDC’s public records are available for public inspection and/or copying, with the exception of those records specifically exempted from general disclosure by statute. For the purposes of public inspection, Oregon law defines “public records” as follows:
“Public record” includes any writing that contains information relating to the conduct of the public’s business, including but not limited to court records, mortgages, and deed records, prepared, owned, used or retained by a public body regardless of physical form or characteristics (ORS 192.410(4)(a)).
“Public record” does not include any writing that does not relate to the conduct of the public’s business and that is contained on a privately owned computer (ORS 192.410(4) (b)).
“Writing” means handwriting, typewriting, printing, photographing and every means of recording, including letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols, or combination thereof, and all papers, maps, files, facsimiles or electronic recordings (ORS 192.410(6)).
How do you obtain PDC records?
- If the records requested are produced by PDC, intended for general public distribution (i.e., program brochures, meeting agendas and minutes, project plans, etc.) and are readily available, they may be provided directly, without charge, by the appropriate PDC staff person. If such record or document is out-of-print, or if the request is for multiple copies of a document currently in print, a fee may be assessed to cover the cost of reproduction (see below).
- If your request is for records not generally intended or available for public distribution, then you need to follow these procedures:
- Make a written request. You can use the on-line request form to electronically send your request or you may complete the PDC Public Records Request Form (PDF) and mail or fax your request.
- You will be contacted by the PDC Legal Department, generally within five (5) business days to:
- Possibly request additional clarification from you to narrow the search, and/or;
- Provide you with information as to:
- Whether or not the records you requested exist.
- Whether or not any of the records you requested are exempt from disclosure.
- A tentative schedule for producing the records for you.
- The estimated fee, if any, to be charged to you for fulfilling the request.
- If you agree to pay PDC for the cost to produce and/or copy records, Legal staff will make arrangements with you to inspect the records or to prepare and release to you copies of the records. NOTE: Original PDC records will not be physically released to any other party.
- A PDC representative must be present during any inspection.
- Only a PDC representative will be permitted to actually make copies of records.
What will this cost?
Oregon law permits a public agency to recover its “actual cost” of producing the records, including staff time spent to locate the records, separate exempt from non-exempt material and copy the records. With the exception of “nominal” requests (a request requiring less than one hour of PDC staff time), PDC will generally require payment for the cost of fulfilling a public records request. The cost will be calculated at current established rates. An estimate will be provided before documents are compiled and payment may be required before documents are released or made available for inspection. If responding to a request will be time intensive, PDC may require payment of the estimated cost before taking further action on the request. Scanning documents into PDF format is the preferred method of fulfilling requests. If you prefer photocopies, the fee schedule is as follows:
|DOCUMENT SIZE ||PER COPY |
|Letter size (8½'' x 11" - B & W) ||$0.05 |
|Legal size (8½" x 14" - B & W) ||$0.06 |
|Ledger size (11" x 17" - B & W) ||$0.07 |
|Letter size (8½'' x 11" - Color) ||$0.15 |
|Legal size (8½" x 14" - Color) ||$0.16 |
|Ledger size (11" x 17" - Color) ||$0.17 |
Fees for reproduction of microfilm, photographs, oversize documents, etc. shall be at actual costs.
If you have any questions about making a public records request, please feel free to contact the PDC Legal Department at 503-823-2370.