NORTH KERN WATER STORAGE DISTRICT
These California Public Records Act Request Guidelines (“Guidelines”) contain the required procedures for requesting access to inspect and/or obtain copies of public records maintained by the North Kern Water Storage District (“District”).
Records will be provided to the public pursuant to Government Code sections 6250 et seq. The District has the express authority to establish regulations stating the procedures to be followed when making a Public Records Act request pursuant to Government Code § 6253.4.
In enacting the Public Records Act, the Legislature determined that generally all public records should be made available to the public upon request. However, the Legislature also recognized the need to balance the public’s right to know against competing constitutional rights to privacy and the government’s need to perform its functions in a reasonably efficient manner. In order to protect these rights, the Public Records Act contains several exemptions from disclosure and incorporates other statutes that prohibit employees from disclosing certain types of public records as well as other applicable privileges. Responsive public records will be reviewed by the District and records that are exempt from disclosure by the Public Records Act or otherwise privileged will not be produced or made available for inspection.
It is the goal of the District to promptly provide the public with requested records or an opportunity for inspection. In order to assist the District in meeting this goal, it is required that all Public Records Act requests to the District adhere to the following procedures and regulations:
- The District has adopted a Public Records Request Form. This form is available upon request at the District Office, located at 33380 Cawelo Ave., Bakersfield, California 93308 or on the District website, at NorthKernWSD.com.
- All requests should be made on the Public Records Request Form. While the District reserves the right to respond to requests not made on the Public Records Request Form or not otherwise properly delivered to the District Office, it is under no obligation to do so. In the event that the District receives a non-compliant request, it will provide the requester with a copy of these Guidelines, the Public Records Request Form, and to a limited extent, assist the requester in drafting an answerable Public Records Act request.
- The Public Records Request Form must be sent to the attention of the District’s General Manager through one of the following means: mail or delivery to the District Office, fax (661-393-6884) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Records should be specifically identified with as much detail as possible, including the name and title of the record, an approximate date or date range for the record, and the record’s content, where such information is available. When a record is not sufficiently specific or is overly broad, District staff will respond appropriately.
- Requests presented on the Public Records Request Form will be responded to as promptly as possible. Generally, the District will be able to provide a response to a properly submitted request within 10 days. Such response shall notify the requester as to whether the District has responsive documents in its possession. In certain circumstances, the District may elect to extend the time for response by an additional 14 days. In such circumstances, the District will notify the requester of this election within the initial 10 day period.
- Where possible, the District will provide responsive documents with its initial response, provided reproduction costs have already been paid by the requestor. In situations where the District is not able to complete its compilation or review of the requested public records within the time provided for the initial response, the District will make those records available for production or inspection as promptly thereafter as is reasonably possible.
- The District may charge the direct cost of duplication when it provides copies of records to the public. Where the District performs the reproduction itself, such costs are [$.10] for black and white copies and [$.25] for color copies. In some cases, the District may send its records to a copy service, rather than copying them in the District Office. In such cases, the requestor shall be responsible for the copy service’s charges.
- Where electronic copies are requested, the District will provide a copy in any requested electronic format which it holds the information or in any format that has been used by the District to create copies for its own use or for provision to other agencies. The cost of duplication will generally be limited to the cost of producing a copy of a record in an electronic format; however, the District may charge for the cost of producing the record, including the cost to construct the record and the cost of computer time and services necessary to produce a copy of the record, where the District must either: 1.) produce a copy of an electronic record that is only otherwise produced at regularly scheduled intervals; or 2.) engage in data compilation, extraction, or programing to produce a copy of the record. The District will not release information in an electronic form where such a release would jeopardize or compromise the security or integrity of the original record or of any proprietary software in which it is maintained.
- Persons interested in inspecting public records in person are encouraged to make a request for inspection in advance. Appointments must be requested using the Public Records Request Form. The District will then contact the requestor to schedule a mutually agreeable appointment time. While appointments are not mandatory, failure to make an appointment may result in a delay while the public records are located and reviewed. In order to prevent records from being lost, damaged or destroyed during the inspection, District staff may determine the location of, and may monitor, the inspection.
- Requestors are not required to provide identification or their reasons for wanting to inspect the records. However, where requestors will be picking up copies of public records or will have those records mailed to them, relevant identifying information must be provided.
- These guidelines are to be posted in a conspicuous public place at the District office, are available on the District’s website, are available free of charge to any person who requests them and shall be provided with the Public Record Request Form.