Transparency and open government are the cornerstones of a strong democracy. Public access to information and the decision-making process gives citizens the information and insight needed to foster civic engagement and ensure accountability. The League of California Cities has long been committed to providing tools and resources that help mayors, council members, and city staff work effectively within a framework of openness and transparency as they address the needs of their communities.
The Public Records Act (PRA) defines "public records" as "any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public's business prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristics." This guide provides the basics of the PRA, information on responding to public records requests, judicial review and remedies, records management, and more.