Public Information Act Requests
The Maryland Public Information Act (Md. Code, Gen. Prov. Art. section 4-101 et seq.) grants the public a broad right of access to inspect or copy public documents, subject to certain exceptions. The PIA's basic mandate is to enable people to have access to government records without unnecessary cost or delay. (For more information, see the Public Information Act Manual from the Office of the Attorney General.)
Administrative Procedure 1120 provides the following detail on requesting public documents from PGCPS under the PIA:
How to Submit a PIA Request
- Requests for information must be submitted in writing via email, fax or letter to the Office of the General Counsel (contact information provided below);
- Pursuant to State law, the school system will:
- Advise the requestor within 10 business days if the records do not exist or if PGCPS does not have them;
- Advise the requestor within 10 business days if additional time is needed to respond to the request and the reason for the delay;
- Promptly ask the requestor for clarification or to narrow the request, if needed; or
- Explain to the requestor the cost implications if the search will take longer than two (2) hours.
Response to a PIA Request
- Responses to PIA requests will be provided within 30 days of receipt, unless an exemption applies or the requestor agrees to an extension beyond 30 days
- Inspection of documents: The inspection of any requested documents must be performed in the presence of a school system employee designated by the custodian. The applicant may not remove any documents.
Access to information will not be provided at a time or in a manner that disrupts the normal operation of the school system.
- Copies of documents: A school system employee must copy the requested documents. The party requesting the information must pay the school system $.25 per page, unless the documents are transmitted electronically without first making a copy.
- Fees: PGCPS may charge a fee for the cost of searcch, review and preparation when it exceeds two (2) hours. The hourly fee for research will be calculated based on the staff person and/or attorney's actual time attributable to the search, review and preparation of the record. Payment of fees in excess of $50.00 must be made in advance.
Frequently Requested Records and Records Immediately Available Upon Request
Contact for Additional Information:
Office of the General Counsel
14201 School Lane, Room 202-B
Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772
Ph: 301-952-6062; Fx: 301-952-6056