Public Records

Public Records Policy

The City of Gainesville’s policy is to retain public records in accordance with Florida law.  It is also the policy of the city to allow any person to access public records in accordance with Florida law. The City of Gainesville's policy number G-5 on public records states:

"It is the policy of the City to retain public records in accordance with Florida law.  It is also the policy of the City to allow any person to access public records in accordance with Florida law.  The Charter Officers shall adopt administrative procedures to implement the City’s Public Records Policy and ensure that the City is in compliance with Florida’s public records law. (effective 5/6/10)"

What is a Public Record?

Currently, “public records” 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.  (Florida Statute Section 119.011 (12) (2009))

The Florida Supreme Court has interpreted this definition to include “any material prepared in connection with official agency business which is intended to perpetuate, communicate, or formalize knowledge of some type.”  By way of example, computer records, e-mails, social media entries, tape recordings, text messages, voicemails, and instant messages are public records when they are made or received by a city employee in connection with official city business and are used to perpetuate, communicate, or formalize knowledge.