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Government Data Practices Act

 The Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, MN Statute Chapter 13, (MGDPA) is a series of state laws that attempt to balance the public’s right to know what their government is doing, individuals’ right to privacy in government data created and maintained about them, and the government’s need to function responsibly and efficiently.

When a request is made, it is the duty of the responsible authority or designee to review the request to verify what data, if any, is being requested.  It is possible that what appears to be a request for data is not a request, or the request might be ambiguous. Before responding, the responsible authority must determine what data is requested, what data exists, if the requestor is the subject of the data, and how the data is classified.

Requests for government data must be responded to in an “appropriate and prompt manner.” If the responsible authority or designee is unable to provide copies at the time a request is made, they must be supplied as “soon as reasonably possible.” Because there is no specific number of days for responding to all requests for public data, the responsible authority has some discretion, based on the scope of the request and the time it will take to respond.

There is a specific time limit when the request comes from the data subject. If an immediate response is not possible, the responsible authority must respond within 10 business days of the request.

In an effort to assure that the City is providing the requested data, all persons seeking public data are required to complete the form for release of public data.  All requests for data should be specific and the form includes information on the cost of the data request.

The City Administrator, Judy Weyrens, is the Public Information Officer for the City and all request for data should be submitted to her attention.