Responses to Public Records Requests
Fees. If fees will be assessed, a written estimate of the same will be provided to the Requester.
Response if Longer than 10 Days or Denial in Whole or in Part. If a full response, including provision of records, cannot be made within 10 business days of receipt of the request, the RAO or designee will respond to the requester in writing: explaining the anticipated time frame for complete response; identifying any records that the TOWN does not have in its custody; identifying records which the TOWN does not expect will be provided, or that will be redacted, specifying the relevant exemption and its application to the requested record or portion thereof; providing a good faith fee estimate; and including a statement of appeal rights.
Clarification of Request. Depending upon the scope of the request, the requester may be asked to clarify the request, provide more specific detail, and/or agree to a voluntary extension of time for the TOWN to respond fully to the request.
Time for Response. Typically, a complete response will be provided within 25 business days of receipt of the requests. If, due to the scope of the request, the need for redactions, or other complications, the TOWN is concerned that it will not be able to provide a complete response within that time frame, the TOWN may ask the requester for an extension of time to comply or petition the Supervisor of Public Records for additional time.
Publicly Available Records. The TOWN maintains a searchable website at www.town.canton.ma.us where certain public records are available for inspection, downloading or printing. If a request seeks documents publicly available on the Town’s website, the requester will be directed to the website in satisfaction of the request, unless the requester does not have the ability to receive or access the records in a usable electronic form.
Electronic Records Delivery Preference. To the extent feasible, the RAO or designee will provide public records in response to a request by electronic means unless the record is not available electronically or the requester does not have the ability to receive or access the records electronically. To the extent available and feasible, the RAO will provide an electronic record in the requester’s preferred format.
Request for Records to be Mailed. Should a requester seek to have responsive records provided by mail, the requester will be charged the actual cost of postage, using the least expensive form of mailing possible, unless the requester requests, and agrees to pay for, an expedited form of mailing and such fees are paid in advance.
Creation of Records. The TOWN is only required to provide records that are in existence at the time of a request and is not required to create a new record to accommodate a specific request.
Answering Questions. The TOWN is not required to answer questions in response to a public records request.
Supplementing Responses. The TOWN is not required to supplement its response to a previous public records request in the event that responsive records are created in the future.
Unique Right of Access. Pursuant to the provisions of 950 CMR 32.06(1)(g) , if a requester or requester’s representative (such as an attorney), has “a unique right of access by statutory, regulatory, judicial or other applicable means”, a request for records will not be considered a G.L. c.66, §10 public records request.