How To Get Public Access To Government Records

There are a number of different situations in which you would need to gain public access to government records. At one point a few decades ago, government records were considered as being top secret and there was no way that the average person could get a hold of them. You can find these records and inspect, copy and use them as you need to. The first thing you will need to do is send in a government records request.

Usually you will need to fill out a government records request and send it in to the appropriate agency in order to access government records. When you send it in to your local or state governmental agency you can gain access to whatever files you want. If you ever get told no make sure that you enforce the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act. They can get in serious trouble if they do not offer you your rights to these government records.

You can find this records request easily online or go to your local head of government and get the form. You will also have to figure out what agencies you need to write to, depending on the records you are searching for. For each separate agency you are going to need to write up a different records request. For each separate agency you are going to need to write up a different letter so be prepared to make a few copies.

You can also include an explanation of why you want these records but you should not feel inclined to. While you should not feel required to explain why you need the documents, if you do not mind it can make the process go along a lot smoother. It should be free for you to access government records. In terms of the amount of time you can expect to have to wait before receiving these documents, it will typically take a couple of weeks.

Usually the cost of these services will be free. In terms of how long it is going to take you to get the information you need, under regulation law it could take you up to twenty business days to receive all the documentation. They may also charge you per printed piece of paper if you are requiring a large quantity of paperwork. Remember that if your request is ever denied you can go ahead and appeal.