II. Regulatory Mandates

1. Chapter 257 F. S. vests in the Division of Library and Information Services the authority to oversee the records management functions of state and local government agencies. Specifically, Section 257.36(5), F.S., requires the Village to:

a.  Cooperate with the division in complying with the provisions of the chapter and designate a records management liaison officer. To designate the Records Management Liaison Officer (RMLO), the Village is required to submit the approved form or a letter to the Division of Library and Information Services.
b.  Establish and maintain an active and continuing program for the economical and efficient management of records."

2. Chapter 119, F. S.: Public Records Law: Chapter 119 has specific provisions related to public records law, including the definition of public record, access, and exemptions. This law applies to all municipal officers of the Village of Palmetto Bay, both elected and appointed, all Village departments, citizen advisory boards, committees, and other units of the Village government.

a. A public record as defined in Section 119.011(12), F.S., are all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, films, sound recordings, data processing software, or other material, regardless of the physical form, characteristics, or means of transmission, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any agency.

b. The Florida Supreme Court further defined public records in Shevin v. Byron, Harless, Schaffer, Reid, and Associates, 379 So. 2d 633 (Fla. 1980), where the Court ruled that a public record is any material prepared in connection with official agency business which is intended to perpetuate, communicate, or formalize knowledge of some type. Therefore, any document meeting the above criteria set forth by the Court is a public record regardless of whether it is in final form or is designated by the agency as a "draft," "working copy," or "preliminary version." If an agency has circulated a "draft" for review, comment, or informational purposes, that draft is a public record.

As clarification, the Court further ruled that "[t]o be contrasted with 'public records' are materials prepared as drafts or notes, which constitute mere precursors of governmental 'records' and are not, in themselves, intended as final evidence of the knowledge to be recorded. Matters which obviously would not be public records are rough drafts, notes to be used in preparing some other documentary material, and tapes or notes taken by a secretary as dictation. Inter-office memoranda and intra-office memoranda communicating information from one public employee to another or merely prepared for filing, even though not a part of an agency's later, formal public product, would nonetheless constitute public records inasmuch as they supply the final evidence of knowledge obtained in connection with the transaction of official business". 

3. Other references include the Florida Attorney General Opinion (AGO) 2005-28, as applicable.