What are government records?

In plain language, a government record is a physical record that has a government purpose and that is held by a public agency. Under Open Public Records Act (OPRA), the "physical record" includes any:

  • Data-Processed or Image-Processed Document
  • Document
  • Drawing
  • Information Stored or Maintained Electronically or by Sound Recording
  • Map
  • Microfilm
  • Paper
  • Photograph
  • Plan
  • Written or Printed Book

Public Agencies

Public agencies include all departments and agencies of state government, including:

  • All:
    • Agencies
    • Commissions
    • Counties
    • County and Municipal Boards
    • Fire Districts
    • Independent Authorities
    • Municipalities
    • School Districts
  • State colleges and universities
  • The state’s legislature and its agencies, except that most constituent correspondence and special materials prepared for individual legislators are not covered

OPRA does not cover the state’s judicial branch and municipal courts, which have their own rules. A record held by a public agency has a "government purpose" when it has been "made, maintained, kept on file, or received in the course of official business."

Show All Answers

1. Why is there an Open Public Records Act?
2. What is the policy behind Open Public Records Act (OPRA)?
3. What are government records?
4. What records are accessible to the public?
5. Why are some records exempt from disclosure?
6. What are some records that cannot be disclosed?
7. What entities doesn't Open Public Records Act (OPRA) cover?
8. Whom do I contact to obtain records from public agencies?
9. What do I need to do to request records?
10. Is there a form I have to use?
11. Do I have to pay for copies in advance of receiving them?
12. How soon can I get the records I requested?
13. What happens if my request is denied?
14. What are reasons for denials?
15. Can I ask for a record in a specific format?
16. Can I get immediate access to certain records?
17. How is personal information protected?
18. Does redaction apply to viewing or inspecting records?
19. What is the cost of paper copies of records?
20. What is the Government Records Council?
21. What can the Government Records Council (GRC) do for me if access to records is denied?
22. What is mediation?
23. How will the Government Records Council (GRC) conduct the investigation?
24. What happens if it is going to Superior Court?
25. How can I get more information about the law?
26. What are some definitions from the law?