|Jan. 28, 2013
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to Maryland's Public Information Act ("PIA"), I herby request the following records:
A list of the names, addresses, phone number, fax numbers, and email addresses of all of Maryland PIA/open meetings officers and public records contacts.
I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.
In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 30 business days, as the statute requires.
Thank you for your Public Information Act (PIA) request. In response to your request I must first say that there will be no charge for this reply.
I should quickly add however, that there is no such "Maryland PIA/open meetings officers and public records contacts... " master list kept and maintained here at the Office of the Attorney General. If there is such a list in Maryland, it's existence is not known to us, either. To obtain such information from various state agencies, you might need to contact every state agency individually or the Governor's Office, if they maintain such a list. Usually such a request must be made to, or delivered to, the person who keeps and maintains the records being requested.
In Maryland, "open meetings" and "public records" are two separate and important features of government. Some agencies may have someone that they refer to as an "open meetings officer" but we have not heard of that being the case. The responsibility for open meetings rests with the members of the many and various boards, councils, commissions, etc... who are subject to Maryland's Open Meetings Act. You can learn more about that act here: http://www.oag.state.md.us/Opengov/Openmeetings/index.htm
Information about the Public Information Act can be found here: http://www.oag.state.md.us/Opengov/pia.htm
The PIA contact for the Maryland Office of the Attorney General at this time would be:
Office of the Attorney General
200 St. Paul Place
Baltimore, MD 21202
410-576-7003 - fax
If you are going to list this administrator among resources for others to use, please be clear that her responsibility is only for the Office of the Attorney General, not the various state agencies or the State of Maryland.
I hope this reply has been helpful even if it is not exactly what you were seeking.
Thank you for your prompt response and helpful clarification. Does the Maryland Public Information Act require state and municipal agencies to designate or name an official custodian(s) of public records? Additionally, are official custodians required to complete any training regarding the state public records law, and to submit evidence of that training to a supervisory authority?
To Whom It May Concern:
I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Jan. 28, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.
Thank you for your help.
My apologies for not getting back to you on your second request in a timely fashion. I must have missed it with the volume of email traffic I get each day but there are no excuses.
The answer to both of your questions is no. The law does not require the designation of an official custodian or the training with reporting requirements. Although both might be required by agency policy or local ordinance. In such a case, that would be an internal matter governed and ruled by that entity.
The state does have an online training course produced by the University of Maryland's Institute for Governmental Service and Research. Anyone may take it - elected officials, state and local government employees, members of the press and the public at large. It is lengthy and comprehensive.
I hope this answers your questions. Let me know if you need anything else.
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