HOW MAY THE PUBLIC MAY OBTAIN ACCESS TO PUBLIC RECORDS?
All requests for records are directed to Energy Safety’s Legal Division for review and advice. You may request copies of public records by sending a request to: prarequests@EnergySafety.ca.gov.
It is important to include the following information in your request, so that we may answer your request in a timely manner:
- A clear and specific description of the information you are requesting. If possible, identify dates, subjects, titles, or authors of the documents requested.
- Your contact information, including name, phone number, and email.
Your request should be focused so that the records can be identified and located with reasonable effort. If you are not sure what records you want, or how to describe them, Energy Safety staff are available to assist you.
Within 10 days from the date the request is received, Energy Safety will determine whether the request, in whole or in part, seeks copies of disclosable public records in Energy Safety’s possession and notify the requestor of such determination. In unusual circumstances, the 10-day time limit for making such determination may be extended to 14 days by written notice from Energy Safety to the requestor, setting forth the reason for the time extension. Unusual circumstances include may include the following.
- The need to search for and collect the requested records from field facilities or other establishments that are separate from the office processing the request.
- The need to search for, collect, and appropriately examine a voluminous amount of separate and distinct records that are demanded in a single request.
- The need for consultation, which will be conducted with all practicable speed, with another agency having substantial interest in Energy Safety’s determination of the request or among 2 or more components of the agency having substantial subject matter interest therein.
- The need to compile data, write programming language or a computer program, or construct a computer report to extract data.
Energy Safety may request additional information if the request is not specific enough to permit identification of the requested records. If Energy Safety determines that it is in possession of responsive, disclosable records, the records will be made available as promptly as is reasonably practicable. While Energy Safety will disclose identifiable and existing records, Energy Safety is not required to synthesize, manufacture, or summarize records, i.e., develop new records in response to a request.
WHAT RECORDS ARE NOT OPEN FOR INSPECTION?
In balancing the public’s right to access public records with the recognized individual right of privacy and the need for Energy Safety to be able to competently perform its duties, the Legislature has established certain categories of records, which may be exempt from public disclosure.
A complete list of statutory exemptions is found in the California Public Records Act. Records exempt for disclosure that pertain to Energy Safety include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Preliminary drafts, notes, or inter-agency or intra-agency memoranda which are not retained by Energy Safety in the ordinary course of business, provided that the public interest in withholding such records clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure;
- Personnel, medical, or similar files, the disclosure of which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
- Records of which the disclosure is exempt or prohibited pursuant to provisions of federal or state law, including, but not limited to, provisions of the Evidence Code relating to privilege and provisions of the Government Code relating to confidential information, proprietary information, or customer-specific records as related to utilities; and
- Correspondence of and to the Governor or employees of the Governor’s Office or in the custody of or maintained by the Governor’s legal affairs secretary.
Energy Safety may claim an exemption from public disclosure records which do not qualify for a specific exemption under the California Public Records Act where the public interest served by not making the record public clearly outweighs the public interest served by disclosure. Records subject to exemption may nevertheless be made available for inspection if waiving the exemption will serve the public interest, as determined by Energy Safety on a case-by-case basis. However, Energy Safety ‘s determination to disclose a record, which may otherwise be exempt from disclosure, does not constitute a waiver with respect to any other records.