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Maryland Public Information Act

The public's right to information about government activities lies at the heart of a democratic government. Maryland's Public Information Act grants the people of this State a broad right of access to public records while protecting legitimate governmental interests and the privacy rights of individual citizens.

Summary of new PIA provisions effective October 1, 2015

Access to Government Records Under the Maryland Public Information Act
An brief overview of the Public Information Act intended for the general public.

Maryland Public Information Act Compliance Board

The PIA Compliance Board hears complaints involving allegations that a government custodian has imposed an unreasonable fee of more than $350 under the Act. Click here for information about the PIA Compliance Board and its procedures and meeting notices.

Public Access Ombudsman

The Office of the Attorney General is considering applicants for the newly-created position of Public Access Ombudsman.  The Ombudsman will be situated within the Office of the Public Access Ombudsman, which will be a newly-created office within, though independent from, the Attorney General’s Office.  Click here for the notice soliciting applicants.  By statute, the names and qualifications of all applicants are posted here.

New Notification Requirement

Effective October 1, 2015, each governmental unit that maintains public records must annually submit to the Office of the Attorney General the contact information for a representative whom a member of the public should contact to request a public record from the governmental unit. See H.B. 874 (Ch. 266), to be codified as sec 4-503 of the General Provisions Article. Our Office has established an email address dedicated to the receipt of these submittals: PIA.Custodians@oag.state.md.us. When a representative's contact information is submitted, it will generate a one-time automated reply that confirms our receipt. Our Office compiles the submitted information, publishes it, and updates it periodically.

Click here for the most recent list of State, county, and municipal PIA representatives. The PIA representative for the Office of the Maryland Attorney General is:

Barbara Bond
200 St. Paul Place
Baltimore, MD  21202
(410) 576-6405
bbond@oag.state.md.us
www.oag.state.md.us


Maryland Public Information Act Manual (14th Ed.) (October 2015)
A resource for both government officials seeking to meet their responsibilities under the Act and members of the press and public seeking access to information. (Click here for a Printable version of the whole PIA Manual)

Chapter Content Revised date
Overview Preface and Table of Contents October 2015
Chapter 1 Scope and Agency Responsibilities October 2015
Chapter 2 Right of Access to Records October 2015
Chapter 3 Exceptions to Disclosure October 2015
Chapter 4 Request Procedures October 2015
Chapter 5 Administrative and Judicial Review October 2015
Chapter 6 Copies October 2015
Chapter 7 Fees October 2015
Chapter 8 Remedies October 2015
Chapter 9 Research Access October 2015
Chapter 10 The Right to Correction or Amendment of Public Records October 2015
Chapter 11 Restrictions on the Creation and Collection of Personal Records October 2015
Appendix “A” Sample Request Letter October 2015
Appendix “B” Sample 10-Day Letter (or E-Mail) October 2015
Appendix “C”

Sample Denial Letter

October 2015
Appendix “D” Affidavit of Indigency October 2015
Appendix “E” Public Information Act Annotated Code of Maryland General Provisions Article October 2015
Appendix “F” Model Regulations on Public Information Act October 2015
Appendix “G” Opinions of the Attorney General on the Maryland Public Information Act October 2015
Appendix “H” Responding to Requests Under the Maryland Public Information Act: A Suggested Process October 2015
Appendix “I” Access to Government Records Under the Maryland Public Information Act October 2015
Appendix "J" Public Information Act Representatives October 2015

Correspondence Referenced in the PIA Manual can be found here.

PIA public security exemption report

Updates to the Manual are made online, and revision dates are posted above.

 

 

Attorney General of Maryland 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free / TDD: (410) 576-6372
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