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Public Records Requests

On June 3, 2016 Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed An Act to Improve Public Records into law. Many of the provisions in the law took effect on January 1, 2017.

You may submit your written request to the City's RAO at the address or email listed below. You may also use the provided Public Records Request Form for your convenience.

City of Worcester, MA
Records Access Officer (RAO)

John F. Hill
Office of the City Manger
455 Main Street, Room 309
Worcester, MA 01608
publicrecords@worcesterma.gov

Worcester Retirement
Records Access Officer (RAO)

Elizabeth A. Early
Worcester Retirement
455 Main Street, Room 103
Worcester, MA 01608
retirement@worcesterma.gov

Electronic Records

Under the law, RAOs must provide public records to a requestor in an electronic format unless the record is not available in an electronic format or the requestor does not have the ability to receive or access the records in a useable electronic format.

Please note: many commonly requested records, including annual reports, minutes of open meetings and agency budgets are already available on the City of Worcester website.

Response Time

Under the law, RAOs must permit inspection or furnish a copy of a requested public record within 10 business days following receipt of the request. RAOs may petition the Supervisor of Records for an extension if they are unable to grant access to the requested public records in this time period.

Fees

Under the law, RAOs are allowed to charge 5 cents for black and white paper copies or computer printouts of public records for both single and double-sided sheets.

Additionally, if a response to a public records request requires more than 2 hours of employee time, RAOs may assess a fee of the hourly rate of the lowest paid employee with the skills necessary to search for, compile, segregate, redact or reproduce a requested record. However, the fee shall not exceed $25 an hour, unless approved by the Supervisor of Records.

Administrative Appeals

Under the law, if a municipality fails to comply with a requirement of the law, the requestor may file an appeal with the Supervisor of Records who will then issue a determination on the public status of the records within 10 business days of receipt of the request for an appeal.

The complete text of the law can be found at:

https://malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2016/Chapter121

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