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Guidelines for access to public records

General guidelines for access to public records

Public records maintained by the California Division of Workers' Compensation are available for inspection by members of the public pursuant to the following procedures:

1. Public records maintained by the division are available for inspection during the regular business hours of the division. Requests for inspection or copying may be made at the district office in person or in writing. For assistance, please ask for the "Local Records Coordinator" at the district office.

2. The division is entitled to a reasonable period of time to locate the records if not readily accessible and to determine whether they must first be reviewed, and possibly redacted, in order to protect confidential or otherwise exempt material from improper disclosure.

3. Requests for inspection or copying of public records should:

a. Be specific, focused and not interfere with the ordinary business operations of the division. If the request requires review of numerous records, a mutually agreeable time should be established for the inspection and/or copying of the records.

b. Sufficiently describe records so that identification, location and retrieval of the records can be achieved without undue burden. Reasonable assistance shall be given to the requestor to satisfy this requirement.

c. Be reduced to writing by division staff or voluntarily by requesting party, unless the request involves records that are readily available for immediate public inspection and no copying is necessary.

4. A requesting party must be advised within 10 days of the date of the request whether a copy of the requested documents(s) will or will not be provided and the reasons why. When necessary, the division may extend this requirement by an additional 14 days to make a determination regarding the request.

5. The division may refuse to disclose any records that are exempt or privileged from disclosure under the Public Records Act, Information Practices Act, Labor Code, or other applicable laws.

6. Physical inspection of records shall be permitted within the division's offices under supervision. The persons inspecting division records shall not destroy, mutilate, deface, alter, or remove any such records from the division. Anyone found doing so, or who permits anyone else to do so, will be prosecuted to the full extent allowed by law.

7. The division shall provide copies of requested records only upon payment of a fee established by regulation: A duplication fee of $1.00 per page. Injured workers will be charged 10 cents per page. The fee for copies of transcripts is $3.00 per page.

8. A copy of these guidelines shall be posted in a conspicuous public place in each office of the Division of Workers' Compensation along with a copy of the local records coordinators contact list. Copies of these guidelines shall also be available free of charge to any person requesting a copy.

September 2007