Public Records Access
Effective January 1, 2017, the Massachusetts Public Records Law, G.L. ch.66 and ch.4 §7(26) provides that a municipality must, within 10 business days (Monday through Friday, excluding legal holidays), respond to a request for records by providing access to or a copy of such records, or explaining any delay or denial. These guidelines are intended to assist members of the public seeking access to public records in the custody of the Town of Concord.
Town Offices are generally open from 8:30AM to 4:30PM, Monday through Thursday, and 8:30AM to noon on Fridays. Some departments may be open alternative hours; please see the Town Website or call ahead to confirm the hours of the department you are contacting.
- The Town Manager has designated the Municipal Archivist/Records Manager as the primary Records Access Officer (RAO). The Town Clerk serves as the secondary RAO.
- The Municipal Archivist/Records Manager is available to answer questions and help facilitate public records requests. Contact information for the Municipal Archivist can be found on the Town’s Archives and Records webpage.
- General information about the public records law and public records requests can be found in the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s, A Guide to the Massachusetts Public Records Law.
Submitting a Request
|Online Form||Town of Concord Public Records Request Form|
|In Person||Town Clerk’s Office, 22 Monument Square, Concord MA 01742|
|First Class Mail||Public Records Request, Town Clerk’s Office, PO Box 535, Concord MA 01742|
In order for the Town to comply with the Massachusetts Public Records Law, requests should be as specific as possible and include details such as records custodian(s), date, and subject matter. The more specific the request, the easier it will be for the Town to respond quickly. Broad, non-specific requests often require more extensive staff efforts to locate, review and copy/scan the responsive records. For requests that require extensive staff work, the Town reserves the right to charge a fee response (as allowed by state law).
Requests received during normal business hours, as defined above, will be dated on the same day of receipt. Requests received outside of normal business hours will be dated the following business day. Business days shall not include Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays.
Response to Request
Within 10 business days of receiving a records request, the Town will respond with:
- The requested records, or
- The reason for any delay in providing the requested records, or
- A fee estimate, or
- Notice that an exemption to the public records law applies to the request.
To the extent feasible, the RAO or designee will provide public records in response to a request by electronic means, unless the record is not available electronically or the requester does not have the ability to receive or access the records electronically.
- Fees – The Town has the right to charge fees as listed below. If a fee will be required, the Town will provide a fee estimate before producing the requested records.
- Compiling, Segregating, Redacting, and Reproducing - Up to $25 per hour of staff time.
- Copying – $0.05 per page.
- Exemptions – Some public records, or portions of records, are exempt from public disclosure. These exemptions, pursuant to the provisions of G.L. c.4, §7(26), include records that are protected by attorney-client privilege, or other applicable exemptions or common law privileges. For more information about exemptions to the Public Records Law, see the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s, A Guide to the Massachusetts Public Records Law.
Right to Appeal
- If a requester wishes to assert a claim that they have been denied access to public records, they may appeal the RAO’s determination to the State Supervisor of Records pursuant to 950 CMR 32.08(1). The Supervisor shall make a final determination on the appeal within ten (10) business days of receipt.
- If the requester is dissatisfied with the determination of the State Supervisor of Records, the requester may appeal to Superior Court. Alternatively, a requester may bypass the Supervisor and go directly to Superior Court.