The Government Data Practices Act (Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 13) presumes that all government data are public unless a state or federal law says the data are not public. Government data is a term that means all recorded information a government entity has, including paper, email, DVDs, photographs, etc.
You have the right to look at (inspect) all public data that we keep at no charge. You also have the right to get copies of public data. The Government Data Practices Act allows us to charge for copies. We may need to review the data first to make sure you do not get access to private data about someone else or confidential information.
How to Make a Data Request
To look at data or request copies of data that Sherburne County keeps, you will need to make a written request. Make your written request for data to the appropriate individual listed in the Data Practices Contacts section below. You may make your written request for data by mail or email using the County's data request form.
If you choose not to use the data request form, your written request should include:
Sherburne County generally cannot require you, as a member of the public, to identify yourself or explain the reason for your data request. If you are requesting private data about yourself, however, Sherburne County requires proof of your identity before we can respond to your data request. In addition, even if you are requesting public data, we may need some information about you depending on how you want us to process your request (if, for example, you want us to mail you copies of data). If you choose not to give us any identifying information, we will provide you with contact information so you may check on the status of your request. Please also keep in mind that if we do not understand your request and have no way to contact you, we will not be able to begin processing your request.
How We Respond to a Data Request
Upon receiving your written request, we will work to process it.
If you do not understand some of the data (technical terminology, abbreviations, or acronyms), please let us know. We will give you an explanation if you ask.
The Government Data Practices Act does not require us to create or collect new data in response to a data request if we do not already have the data, or to provide data in a specific form or arrangement if we do not keep the data in that form or arrangement. (For example, if the data you request are on paper only, we are not required to create electronic documents to respond to your request.) If we agree to create data in response to your request, we will work with you on the details of your request, including cost and response time.
In addition, the Government Data Practices Act does not require us to answer questions that are not requests for data.
Requests for Summary Data
Summary data are statistical records or reports that are prepared by removing all identifiers from private or confidential data on indiSummary data are statistical records or reports that are prepared by removing all identifiers from private or confidential data on individuals. The preparation of summary data is not a means to gain access to private or confidential data. Sherburne County will prepare summary data if you make your request in writing and pre-pay for the cost of creating the data. Upon receiving your written request (you may use the data request form) we will respond within ten business days with the data or details of when the data will be ready and how much we will charge.
Copy Costs/Associated Fees
Sherburne County charges members of the public for copies of government data. These charges are authorized under Minnesota Statutes, section 13.03, subdivision 3(c). You must pay for the copies before we will give them to you.