California Freedom of Information

The California law provides freedom of information through the California Public Records Act (CPRA) and the California Open Meeting Act.  The CPRA is a series of laws defined under the statutes 6250 to 6270.  It guarantees that the public has access to public records of governmental bodies in California.  The California legislature prefaced it by stating, “…access to information concerning the conduct of the people’s business is a fundamental and necessary right of every person in this state.”

The California Open Meeting Act is a composition of the Ralph M. Brown Act, the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act, and the Grunsky-Burton Open Meeting Act.  The Brown Act deals with local governments and political subdivisions.  The Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act governs the executive branch of the state.  The Grunsky-Burton Open Meeting Act legislates methods by which public meetings are conducted on the state level.  The statutes 54950 to 54963 of the California Code define the Brown Act.  The statutes 11120-11132 of the California code define the Bagley-Keene Act.  These acts state the purpose of the Open Meetings Act as, ” the Legislature finds and declares that the public commissions, boards and councils and the other public agencies in the State exist to aid in the conduct of the people’s business.  It is the intent of the law that their actions be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly.  The people of the State do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies which serve them.  The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know.  The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created.”


Inside California Freedom of Information