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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

HF 2549

as introduced - 87th Legislature (2011 - 2012) Posted on 02/27/2012 01:12pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.
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A bill for an act
relating to state government; adding a provision to government data practices
allowing access to public government data online; amending Minnesota Statutes
2010, section 13.03, subdivision 3.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 13.03, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Request for access to data.

(a) Upon request to a responsible authority
or designee, a person shall be permitted to inspect and copy public government data at
reasonable times and places, and, upon request, shall be informed of the data's meaning. If
a person requests access for the purpose of inspection, the responsible authority may not
assess a charge or require the requesting person to pay a fee to inspect data.

(b) For purposes of this section, "inspection" includes, but is not limited to, the
visual inspection of paper and similar types of government data. Inspection does not
include printing copies by the government entity, unless printing a copy is the only
method to provide for inspection of the data. In the case of data stored in electronic form
and made available in electronic form on a remote access basis to the public by the
government entity, inspection includes remote access to the data by the public and the
ability to print copies of or download the data on the public's own computer equipment.
Nothing in this section prohibits a government entity from charging a reasonable fee for
remote access to data under a specific statutory grant of authority. A government entity
may charge a fee for remote access to data where either the data or the access is enhanced
at the request of the person seeking access.

(c) The responsible authority or designee shall provide copies of public data upon
request. If a person requests copies or electronic transmittal of the data to the person,
the responsible authority may require the requesting person to pay the actual costs of
searching for and retrieving government data, including the cost of employee time, and for
making, certifying, and electronically transmitting the copies of the data or the data, but
may not charge for separating public from not public data. However, if 100 or fewer pages
of black and white, letter or legal size paper copies are requested, actual costs shall not be
used, and instead, the responsible authority may charge no more than 25 cents for each
page copied. If the responsible authority or designee is not able to provide copies at the
time a request is made, copies shall be supplied as soon as reasonably possible.

(d) When a request under this subdivision involves any person's receipt of copies
of public government data that has commercial value and is a substantial and discrete
portion of or an entire formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique,
process, database, or system developed with a significant expenditure of public funds by
the government entity, the responsible authority may charge a reasonable fee for the
information in addition to the costs of making and certifying the copies. Any fee charged
must be clearly demonstrated by the government entity to relate to the actual development
costs of the information. The responsible authority, upon the request of any person, shall
provide sufficient documentation to explain and justify the fee being charged.

(e) The responsible authority of a government entity that maintains public
government data in a computer storage medium shall provide to any person making a
request under this section a copy of any public data contained in that medium, in electronic
form, if the government entity can reasonably make the copy or have a copy made.
This does not require a government entity to provide the data in an electronic format or
program that is different from the format or program in which the data are maintained
by the government entity. The entity may require the requesting person to pay the actual
cost of providing the copy.

(f) If the responsible authority or designee determines that the requested data is
classified so as to deny the requesting person access, the responsible authority or designee
shall inform the requesting person of the determination either orally at the time of the
request, or in writing as soon after that time as possible, and shall cite the specific
statutory section, temporary classification, or specific provision of federal law on which
the determination is based. Upon the request of any person denied access to data, the
responsible authority or designee shall certify in writing that the request has been denied
and cite the specific statutory section, temporary classification, or specific provision of
federal law upon which the denial was based.

new text begin (g) The responsible authority or designee of a government entity may comply with
a request for inspection or copies of public government data, in whole or in part, by
providing a link or links to a specific Web site that contains the requested data online. A
government entity may only use this paragraph to comply with a request to inspect and/or
copy government data if all of the following conditions are met:
new text end

new text begin (1) data are classified as public;
new text end

new text begin (2) data already exist online or are placed online immediately or within ten business
days of the request;
new text end

new text begin (3) data are on a currently available and online public Web site;
new text end

new text begin (4) the responsible authority or designee provides links and instructions to each
individual requester so that the requested data are easily accessible;
new text end

new text begin (5) other data not provided according to this paragraph and the government entity's
response time to the data request are consistent with the requirements of sections 13.03
and 13.04; and
new text end

new text begin (6) no fee is charged for access to the data online.
new text end

new text begin (h) Upon request, a government entity that complies with a data request according
to paragraph (g) must inform the data requester if the online data are maintained in
another electronic format and provide reasonable access to the alternative electronic
format through e-mail or another electronic delivery method. No fee may be charged for
providing the data in an alternative electronic format under this paragraph.
new text end