15.17 OFFICIAL RECORDS.
Subdivision 1. Must be kept.
All officers and agencies of the state, counties, cities,
towns, school districts, municipal subdivisions or corporations, or other public authorities or
political entities within the state, hereinafter "public officer," shall make and preserve all records
necessary to a full and accurate knowledge of their official activities. Government records may
be produced in the form of computerized records. All government records shall be made on a
physical medium of a quality to insure permanent records. Every public officer is empowered
to reproduce records if the records are not deemed to be of permanent or archival value by
the commissioner of administration and the records disposition panel under section
The public officer is empowered to reproduce these records by any photographic, photostatic,
microphotographic, optical disk imaging system, microfilming, or other reproduction method
that clearly and accurately reproduces the records. If a record is deemed to be of permanent
or archival value, any reproduction of the record must meet archival standards specified by
the Minnesota Historical Society provided, however, that this section does not prohibit the use
of nonerasable optical imaging systems for the preservation of archival records without the
preservation of paper or microfilm copies. Each public officer may order that those photographs,
photostats, microphotographs, microfilms, optical images, or other reproductions, be substituted
for the originals of them. The public officer may direct the destruction or sale for salvage or other
disposition of the originals from which they were made, in accordance with the disposition
requirements of section
. Photographs, photostats, microphotographs, microfilms, optical
images, or other reproductions are for all purposes deemed the original recording of the papers,
books, documents, and records reproduced when so ordered by any public officer and are
admissible as evidence in all courts and proceedings of every kind. A facsimile or exemplified or
certified copy of a photograph, photostat, microphotograph, microfilm, optical image, or other
reproduction, or an enlargement or reduction of it, has the same effect and weight as evidence as
would a certified or exemplified copy of the original.
Subd. 2. Responsibility for records.
The chief administrative officer of each public
agency shall be responsible for the preservation and care of the agency's government records,
which shall include written or printed books, papers, letters, contracts, documents, maps, plans,
computer-based data, and other records made or received pursuant to law or in connection
with the transaction of public business. It shall be the duty of each agency, and of its chief
administrative officer, to carefully protect and preserve government records from deterioration,
mutilation, loss, or destruction. Records or record books may be repaired, renovated, or rebound
when necessary to preserve them properly.
Subd. 3. Delivery to successor.
Every legal custodian of government records, at the
expiration of that official's term of office or authority, or on the official's death a legal
representative, shall deliver to a successor in office all government records in custody; and the
successor shall receipt therefor to the predecessor or legal representative and shall file in the
office a signed acknowledgment of the delivery. Every public officer shall demand from a
predecessor in office, or the predecessor's legal representative, the delivery of all government
records belonging to the office.
Subd. 4. Accessible to public.
Access to records containing government data is governed by
History: 1941 c 553 s 1-4; 1957 c 28 s 1,2; 1973 c 123 art 5 s 7; 1973 c 422 s 1; 1979 c
328 s 23; 1981 c 311 s 39; 1982 c 545 s 24; 1982 c 573 s 1; 1986 c 444; 1990 c 506 art 2 s 4;
1993 c 71 s 1; 1999 c 227 s 11,12