Public records requests

Overview

Public records requests

Maryland’s Public Information Act (“PIA”) gives the public the right to access government records without unnecessary cost and delay.

The PIA applies to all three branches of Maryland state government as well as local government entities. The PIA is found in the General Provisions Article (“GP”), §§ 4-101 through 4-601, Annotated Code of Maryland.

It is similar to the federal Freedom of Information Act which applies to federal executive branch agencies and independent federal regulatory agencies.

The PIA grants you the right to review the available records that are disclosable and to obtain copies of those records. It does not require an agency to answer informational questions or to create a record to satisfy your request.

A public record is defined as the original or copy of any documentary material in any form created or received by an agency in connection with the transaction of public business. Included in this definition are written materials, books, photographs, photocopies, firms, microfilms, records, tapes, computerized records, maps, drawings and other materials.

Learn more about the Public Information Act here