V. Policy

1. It is the policy of the Village to ensure that public records are maintained and managed as required by the Florida Public Records Law, which provides that all materials made or received by Florida’s state and local government agencies in connection with their official agency business are public records, and as required by Chapter 257, Florida Statutes, which directs each public agency to establish an active and continuing records management program.

2. It is also the policy of the Village to ensure that all public records in its custody, that are not exempt or confidential, are open for inspection and copying by any person, for any reason, at any reasonable time, under reasonable conditions, absent any statutory exemption to the contrary.

3. Requested public records may not be withheld for any reason, except if the record or portion thereof is legally designated as confidential or exempt from public disclosure.

4. At all‐time the Clerk shall provide safeguards to protect the contents of Public Records from alteration and to prevent disclosure or modification of those portions of Public Records that are exempt or confidential.

5. The Clerk shall furnish a copy or a certified copy of the record upon payment of the fee prescribed by law.

6. Public records if requested to be reviewed and/or copied person, shall under the supervision of the Clerk or a designee.

7. In accordance with the Public Records Law, this policy only applies to existing documents; a record is not to be created. Additionally, Florida Law does not require agencies to “explain” records or answer questions based upon the records’ content, other than providing information on how to obtain the record or about record production costs, as applicable.

8. Unless otherwise required by law, the Village may charge a fee for remote electronic access, granted under a contractual arrangement with a user, which fee may include the direct and indirect costs of providing such access, in accordance with the following provisions of the Public Records Law:

a. Any person shall have the right of access to public records for the purpose of making photographs of the record while such record is in the possession, custody, and control of the Village.

b. This subsection applies to the making of photographs in the conventional sense by use of a camera device to capture images of public records but excludes the duplication of microfilm in the possession of the Village where a copy of the microfilm may be made available by the Clerk.

c. Photographing public records shall be done under the supervision of the Clerk or a designee who may adopt and enforce reasonable rules governing the photographing of such records.

d. Photographing of public records shall be done in the room where the public records are kept. If, in the judgment of the Clerk, this is impossible or impracticable, photographing shall be done in another room or place, as nearly adjacent as possible to the room where the public records are kept, to be determined by the Clerk as the custodian of public records. Where the provision of another room or place for photographing is required, the expense of providing that shall be paid by the person desiring to photograph the public record.

9. When the nature or volume of public records requested to be inspected, examined, or copied is such as to require extensive use of information technology resources or extensive clerical or supervisory assistance by personnel of the Village involved, or both which is in excess of one (1) hour, the Village may charge, in addition to the cost of duplication, a reasonable special service charge, which shall be based on the cost incurred for such extensive effort. This shall include the time required to review requests involving voluminous records to ensure that no exempt or confidential material is released. To comply with this provision, the Clerk shall first inform the requester that a special service charge will be imposed, and thereafter collect fifty percent (50%) of the estimated service charge in advance. The service charge shall be calculated using the hourly wage of the employee(s) performing the service, including benefits. Following performing the service, if a refund is due to the requestor, the Clerk will coordinate the refund through the Cashier’s office. The Clerk or record coordinator shall collect the remaining balance due prior to delivery of the Public Record. If an individual has not paid the fee associated with a public records request, the request and subsequent requests shall not be provided until such time as the amounts due have been paid.

10. Pursuant to Florida law, requestors are not required to put their requests in writing or to explain the reason for the request. However, requestors are encouraged to complete a Public Records Request form to assist staff in clarifying the exact scope of the request. Should an individual not wish to put their request in writing, staff shall ask for clarification and complete the Public Records Request Form on their behalf. Requestors should specify whether they wish to inspect the record(s), obtain hardcopies, receive the documents via email, or request electronic documents on CD/DVD. When so requested, electronic records will be provided to the extent that they exist in electronic format.

11. The Village contracts its policing services through the Miami‐Dade County Police Department and therefore all law enforcement records are maintained by the Miami‐ Dade Police Department. All requests for law enforcement records, including personnel records, shall be made to the Miami‐Dade Police Department Central Records Bureau. The Central Records Bureau is located within the Fred Taylor Building at the Miami‐Dade Police Department Headquarters complex, located at 9105 NW 25th Street, Doral, Florida (Telephone: 305‐471‐3220).