Article 01. INSPECTION AND COPYING OF PUBLIC RECORDS
Sec. 40.25.100. Disposition of tax information.
(a) Information in the possession of the Department of Revenue that discloses the particulars of the business or affairs of a taxpayer or other person is not a matter of public record, except as provided in AS 43.05.230(i) or for purposes of investigation and law enforcement. The information shall be kept confidential except when its production is required in an official investigation, administrative adjudication under AS 43.05.405 - 43.05.499, or court proceeding. These restrictions do not prohibit the publication of statistics presented in a manner that prevents the identification of particular reports and items, prohibit the publication of tax lists showing the names of taxpayers who are delinquent and relevant information that may assist in the collection of delinquent taxes, or prohibit the publication of records, proceedings, and decisions under AS 43.05.405 - 43.05.499.
(b) If a copy of a record of tax information is requested under (a) of this section for the purposes of child support administration, the copy may be released only to the child support services agency created in AS 25.27.010 or a child support enforcement agency of another state. The Department of Revenue shall provide the requesting agency with a copy of the record. The requesting agency receiving information under this subsection may use it only for child support purposes authorized under law.
Sec. 40.25.105. Disclosure of information for compliance with the tobacco product Master Settlement Agreement.
(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of AS 40.25.100 (a), the Department of Revenue may disclose information submitted to the Department of Revenue relating to cigarette and tobacco products, cigarette and tobacco product manufacturers, and cigarette and tobacco product retailers to the attorney general and to other parties as the Department of Revenue determines necessary to monitor and enforce compliance by cigarette and tobacco product manufacturers with the tobacco product Master Settlement Agreement described in AS 45.53.010 - 45.53.100.
(b) A person receiving information under this section shall maintain the confidentiality that the Department of Revenue is required to extend under AS 43.05.230 to the returns, reports, documents, determinations, and workpapers furnished to that person under this section.
Sec. 40.25.110. Public records open to inspection and copying; fees.
(a) Unless specifically provided otherwise, the public records of all public agencies are open to inspection by the public under reasonable rules during regular office hours. The public officer having the custody of public records shall give on request and payment of the fee established under this section or AS 40.25.115 a certified copy of the public record.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the fee for copying public records may not exceed the standard unit cost of duplication established by the public agency.
(c) If the production of records for one requester in a calendar month exceeds five person-hours, the public agency shall require the requester to pay the personnel costs required during the month to complete the search and copying tasks. The personnel costs may not exceed the actual salary and benefit costs for the personnel time required to perform the search and copying tasks. The requester shall pay the fee before the records are disclosed, and the public agency may require payment in advance of the search.
(d) A public agency may reduce or waive a fee when the public agency determines that the reduction or waiver is in the public interest. Fee reductions and waivers shall be uniformly applied among persons who are similarly situated. A public agency may waive a fee of $5 or less if the fee is less than the cost to the public agency to arrange for payment.
(e) Notwithstanding other provisions of this section to the contrary, the Bureau of Vital Statistics and the library archives in the Department of Education and Early Development may continue to charge the same fees that they were charging on September 25, 1990, for performing record searches, and may increase the fees as necessary to recover agency expenses on the same basis that was used by the agency immediately before September 25, 1990. Notwithstanding other provisions of this section to the contrary, the division of banking, securities, and corporations in the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development may continue to charge the same fees that the former Department of Commerce and Economic Development was charging on July 1, 1999, for performing record searches and may increase the fees as necessary to recover agency expenses on the same basis that was used by the former Department of Commerce and Economic Development immediately before July 1, 1999.
(f) Notwithstanding other provisions of this section to the contrary, the Board of Regents of the University of Alaska may establish reasonable fees for the inspection and copying of public records, including record searches.
(g) Notwithstanding other provisions of this section to the contrary, the board of directors of the Alaska Railroad Corporation may establish reasonable fees for the inspection and copying of public records, including record searches.
(h) Notwithstanding other provisions of this section to the contrary, the judicial branch may establish by court rule reasonable fees for the inspection and copying of public records, including record searches.
(i) Electronic information that is provided in printed form shall be made available without codes or symbols, unless accompanied by an explanation of the codes or symbols.
Sec. 40.25.115. Electronic services and products.
(a) Notwithstanding AS 40.25.110 (b) - (d) to the contrary, upon request and payment of a fee established under (b) of this section, a public agency may provide electronic services and products involving public records to members of the public. A public agency is encouraged to make information available in usable electronic formats to the greatest extent feasible. The activities authorized under this section may not take priority over the primary responsibilities of a public agency.
(b) The fee for electronic services and products must be based on recovery of the actual incremental costs of providing the electronic services and products, and a reasonable portion of the costs associated with building and maintaining the information system of the public agency. The fee may be reduced or waived by the public agency if the electronic services and products are to be used for a public purpose, including public agency program support, nonprofit activities, journalism, and academic research. Fee reductions and waivers shall be uniformly applied among persons who are similarly situated.
(c) Notwithstanding (b) of this section, the fee for duplicating a public record in the electronic form kept by a public agency may not exceed the actual incremental costs of the public agency.
(d) Public agencies shall include in a contract for electronic services and products provisions that
(1) protect the security and integrity of the information system of the public agency and of information systems that are shared by public agencies; and
(2) limit the liability of the public agency providing the services and products.
(e) Each public agency shall notify the state library distribution and data access center established under AS 14.56.090 of the electronic services and products offered by the public agency to the public under this section. The notification must include a summary of the available format options and the fees charged.
(f) When offering on-line access to an electronic file or data base, a public agency also shall provide without charge on-line access to the electronic file or data base through one or more public terminals.
(g) Each public agency shall establish the fees for the electronic services and products provided under this section. The Telecommunications Information Council may cancel the fees established by a public agency in the executive branch, except the fees of the University of Alaska and the Alaska Railroad Corporation, if the council determines that the fees are unreasonably high.
(h) A public agency may not make electronic services and products available to one member of the public and withhold them from other members of the public.
(i) A public agency other than a municipality or the Alaska Railroad Corporation shall separately account for the fees received by the agency under this section and deposited in the general fund. The annual estimated balance in the account may be used by the legislature to make appropriations to the agency to carry out the activities of the agency.
Sec. 40.25.120. Public records; exceptions; certified copies.
(a) Every person has a right to inspect a public record in the state, including public records in recorders' offices, except
(1) records of vital statistics and adoption proceedings, which shall be treated in the manner required by AS 18.50;
(2) records pertaining to juveniles unless disclosure is authorized by law;
(3) medical and related public health records;
(4) records required to be kept confidential by a federal law or regulation or by state law;
(5) to the extent the records are required to be kept confidential under 20 U.S.C. 1232g and the regulations adopted under 20 U.S.C. 1232g in order to secure or retain federal assistance;
(6) records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the production of the law enforcement records or information
(A) could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings;
(B) would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication;
(C) could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of the personal privacy of a suspect, defendant, victim, or witness;
(D) could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source;
(E) would disclose confidential techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions;
(F) would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if the disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law; or
(G) could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of an individual;
(7) names, addresses, and other information identifying a person as a participant in the Alaska Higher Education Savings Trust under AS 14.40.802 or the advance college tuition savings program under AS 14.40.803 - 14.40.817;
(8) public records containing information that would disclose or might lead to the disclosure of a component in the process used to execute or adopt an electronic signature if the disclosure would or might cause the electronic signature to cease being under the sole control of the person using it;
(9) [See delayed repeal note]. reports submitted under AS 05.25.030 concerning certain collisions, accidents, or other casualties involving boats;
(10) records or information pertaining to a plan, program, or procedures for establishing, maintaining, or restoring security in the state, or to a detailed description or evaluation of systems, facilities, or infrastructure in the state, but only to the extent that the production of the records or information
(A) could reasonably be expected to interfere with the implementation or enforcement of the security plan, program, or procedures;
(B) would disclose confidential guidelines for investigations or enforcement and the disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law; or
(C) could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of an individual or to present a real and substantial risk to the public health and welfare;
(11) the written notification regarding a proposed regulation provided under AS 24.20.105 to the Department of Law and the affected state agency and communications between the Legislative Affairs Agency, the Department of Law, and the affected state agency under AS 24.20.105.
(b) Every public officer having the custody of records not included in the exceptions shall permit the inspection, and give on demand and on payment of the fees under AS 40.25.110 - 40.25.115 a certified copy of the record, and the copy shall in all cases be evidence of the original.
(c) Recorders shall permit memoranda, transcripts, and copies of the public records in their offices to be made by photography or otherwise for the purpose of examining titles to real estate described in the public records, making abstracts of title or guaranteeing or insuring the titles of the real estate, or building and maintaining title and abstract plants; and shall furnish proper and reasonable facilities to persons having lawful occasion for access to the public records for those purposes, subject to reasonable rules and regulations, in conformity to the direction of the court, as are necessary for the protection of the records and to prevent interference with the regular discharge of the duties of the recorders and their employees.
Sec. 40.25.121. Copies of public records for veterans.
When a copy of a public record is required by the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs, the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development, or by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to be used in determining the eligibility of a person to participate in benefits, the official custodian of the public record shall, without charge, provide the applicant for the benefits, a person acting on behalf of the applicant, or an authorized representative of the department or the United States Department of Veterans Affairs with a certified copy of the record.
Sec. 40.25.122. Litigation disclosure.
A public record that is subject to disclosure and copying under AS 40.25.110 - 40.25.120 remains a public record subject to disclosure and copying even if the record is used for, included in, or relevant to litigation, including law enforcement proceedings, involving a public agency, except that with respect to a person involved in litigation, the records sought shall be disclosed in accordance with the rules of procedure applicable in a court or an administrative adjudication. In this section, "involved in litigation" means a party to litigation or representing a party to litigation, including obtaining public records for the party.
Sec. 40.25.123. Supervision and regulation.
(a) The Telecommunications Information Council shall supervise and adopt regulations for the operation and implementation of AS 40.25.110 - 40.25.140 by public agencies in the executive branch, except the Alaska Railroad Corporation.
(b) The legislative council shall supervise and adopt procedures for the operation and implementation of AS 40.25.110 - 40.25.140 by public agencies in the legislative branch.
(c) The administrative director of courts shall supervise and adopt procedures for the operation and implementation of AS 40.25.110 - 40.25.140 by public agencies in the judicial branch.
(d) The Board of Regents of the University of Alaska shall supervise and adopt procedures for the operation and implementation of AS 40.25.110 - 40.25.140 by the University of Alaska.
(e) The regulations and procedures adopted under this section must include the establishment of procedures for making an administrative appeal of public agency action that is taken under AS 40.25.110 - 40.25.140.
(f) In this section,
(1) "action" includes the calculation of a fee, the denial of a fee reduction or waiver, and the denial of a request to inspect or copy a public record;
(2) "public agency" does not include a municipality.
Sec. 40.25.124. Appeals.
A person may appeal to the superior court the final administrative order made by a public agency under AS 40.25.110 - 40.25.140.
Sec. 40.25.125. Enforcement: Injunctive relief.
A person having custody or control of a public record who denies, obstructs, or attempts to obstruct, or a person not having custody or control who aids or abets another person in denying, obstructing, or attempting to obstruct, the inspection of a public record subject to inspection under AS 40.25.110 or 40.25.120 may be enjoined by the superior court from denying, obstructing, or attempting to obstruct, the inspection of public records subject to inspection under AS 40.25.110 or 40.25.120. A person may seek injunctive relief under this section without exhausting the person's remedies under AS 40.25.123 - 40.25.124.
Sec. 40.25.140. Confidentiality of library records.
(a) Except as provided in (b) of this section, the names, addresses, or other personal identifying information of people who have used materials made available to the public by a library shall be kept confidential, except upon court order, and are not subject to inspection under AS 40.25.110 or 40.25.120. This section applies to libraries operated by the state, a municipality, or a public school, including the University of Alaska.
(b) Records of a public elementary or secondary school library identifying a minor child shall be made available on request to a parent or guardian of that child.
Sec. 40.25.151. Confidentiality of retirement records.
(a) Except as provided in (b) - (d) of this section, public records, including electronic services and products involving public records, containing information about a person and maintained under AS 14.25, AS 22.25, AS 26.05.222 - 26.05.229, AS 39.35, or former AS 39.37 shall be kept confidential and are not subject to inspection or copying under AS 40.25.110 - 40.25.120.
(b) Records described in (a) of this section concerning a person who is a member or former member of a state retirement system who is still living may only be released to
(1) the person or the person's guardian;
(2) the person's employer or former employer;
(3) a state agency authorized to obtain confidential information;
(4) another person if the person has
(A) written authorization for release from the affected member or former member or the member's or former member's guardian; or
(B) a court order or subpoena to obtain the information.
(c) Records described in (a) of this section concerning a member or former member of a state retirement system who is deceased or a deceased member's named beneficiary may only be released to
(1) the member's named beneficiary or the beneficiary's guardian;
(2) the member's or former member's former employer;
(3) a state agency authorized to obtain confidential information;
(4) the personal representative of the member's or former member's estate;
(5) another person if the person has
(A) written authorization for release from the member or former member, the member's named beneficiary, or the personal representative of the member's or former member's estate; or
(B) a court order or subpoena to secure the information.
(d) The name and address of a living person who is a member or former member of a state retirement system may be released to a retirement organization representing persons receiving benefits under a state retirement system if the retirement organization is affiliated with an organization representing employees of the employer under AS 23.40.070 - 23.40.260 (Public Employment Relations Act).
(e) In this section, "state retirement system" means the teachers' retirement system under AS 14.25, the judicial retirement system under AS 22.25, the retirement system for members of the national guard under AS 26.05.222 - 26.05.229, the public employees' retirement system under AS 39.35, or the elected public officers retirement system under former AS 39.37.
Sec. 40.25.220. Definitions for AS 40.25.100 - 40.25.220.
In AS 40.25.100 - 40.25.220, unless the context otherwise requires,
(1) "electronic services and products" means computer-related services and products provided by a public agency, including
(A) electronic manipulation of the data contained in public records in order to tailor the data to the person's request or to develop a product that meets the person's request;
(B) duplicating public records in alternative formats not used by a public agency, providing periodic updates of an electronic file or data base, or duplicating an electronic file or data base from a geographic information system;
(C) providing on-line access to an electronic file or data base;
(D) providing information that cannot be retrieved or generated by the existing computer programs of the public agency;
(E) providing functional electronic access to the information system of the public agency; in this subparagraph, "functional access" includes the capability for alphanumeric query and printing, graphic query and plotting, nongraphic data input and analysis, and graphic data input and analysis;
(F) providing software developed by a public agency or developed by a private contractor for a public agency;
(G) generating maps or other standard or customized products from an electronic geographic information system;
(2) "public agency" means a political subdivision, department, institution, board, commission, division, authority, public corporation, council, committee, or other instrumentality of the state or a municipality; "public agency" includes the University of Alaska and the Alaska Railroad Corporation;
(3) "public records" means books, papers, files, accounts, writings, including drafts and memorializations of conversations, and other items, regardless of format or physical characteristics, that are developed or received by a public agency, or by a private contractor for a public agency, and that are preserved for their informational value or as evidence of the organization or operation of the public agency; "public records" does not include proprietary software programs;
(4) "Telecommunications Information Council" means the Telecommunications Information Council established under AS 44.19.502 .
Article 02. PERSONAL INFORMATION IN STATE PUBLIC RECORDS
Sec. 40.25.300. Notice regarding personal information.
(a) When a state agency requests personal information that may be included in a public record directly from the person who is the subject of the information, the agency shall give the person a written notice at the time of the request that states
(1) the name and address of the agency;
(2) the citation of the statute or regulation that authorizes the agency to request the information;
(3) a statement indicating whether the person is required to supply the information;
(4) the consequences to the person, if any, of not providing all or part of the requested information;
(5) a statement of the agency's anticipated uses of the information, including the agency's internal uses of the information and disclosure of the information to other state agencies;
(6) the fact that the information may be subject to inspection and copying under AS 40.25.110 - 40.25.120; and
(7) a statement summarizing how a person may challenge under AS 40.25.310 the accuracy or completeness of personal information maintained by a state agency.
(b) An agency may provide the written notice required under (a) of this section by
(1) placing the notice on the form used to request the information from the person;
(2) giving the person the notice on a separate sheet that accompanies the form used to request the information from the person;
(3) giving the person a statement in a pamphlet, booklet, manual, or other printed matter at the time the information on the person is requested; or
(4) prominently posting a sign containing the notice in a prominent location so that the sign can be easily observed and read by the person at the time the information is requested.
(c) This section does not apply to a request for information on a person if
(1) the request is made by a peace officer; in this paragraph, "peace officer" has the meaning given in AS 01.10.060 ;
(2) the person is the agency's employee;
(3) the information is related to litigation;
(4) the information is being collected by a public agency when investigating a possible violation of law; or
(5) the information is not subject to inspection and copying under AS 40.25.110 - 40.25.120, even if the information is eventually subject to inspection and copying under AS 18.50.310 (f).
Sec. 40.25.310. Information accuracy and completeness.
(a) A person who is the subject of personal information that is maintained by a state agency and subject to public disclosure under AS 40.25.110 - 40.25.140 may challenge the accuracy or completeness of the personal information.
(b) To challenge the accuracy or completeness of personal information under (a) of this section, the person must file with the state agency a written request that the personal information be changed. The request must provide
(1) a description of the challenged personal information;
(2) the changes necessary to make the personal information accurate or complete; and
(3) the person's name and the address where the department may contact the person.
(c) Within 30 days after receiving a written request made under (b) of this section, the state agency may request verification of the disputed personal information from the person who made the request.
(d) Within 30 days after receiving the written request under (b) of this section or the verification under (c) of this section, the state agency shall review the request and
(1) change the personal information according to the request and notify the person in writing of the change; or
(2) deny the request and notify the person in writing of the reasons for the decision and the name, title, and business address of the person who denied the request.
(e) If a request is denied under (d) of this section, the person may provide to the state agency a concise written statement that states the person's reasons for disagreeing with the decision. The state agency shall maintain in its records the request made under (b) of this section and the statement provided by the person under this subsection. On all of the state agency's records that contain the disputed information, the state agency shall clearly note which portions of the records are disputed. If the record is in electronic form, the state agency may note the dispute in one field of the electronic form and maintain the other information about the dispute in paper form.
(f) This section does not apply to criminal intelligence or criminal investigative records, criminal justice information under AS 12.62, state agency personnel or retirement system records, records of applicants for employment with the state agency, or information in documents recorded under AS 40.17.
Sec. 40.25.350. Definitions.
In AS 40.25.300 - 40.25.350,
(1) "person" means an individual;
(2) "personal information" means information that can be used to identify a person and from which judgments can be made about a person's character, habits, avocations, finances, occupation, general reputation, credit, health, or other personal characteristics, but does not include a person's name, address, or telephone number, if the number is published in a current telephone directory, or information describing a public job held by a person;
(3) "state agency"
(A) means a department, institution, board, commission, division, authority, public corporation, committee, or other administrative unit of the executive, judicial, or legislative branch of state government, including the University of Alaska;
(B) does not include the Alaska Railroad Corporation.