To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the California Public Records Act, I hereby request the following records:
- All contracts, including memoranda of understanding (MOUs), letters of intent (LOIs), side letters, or other agreements that are currently active, or were active within the last three years. Please include attachments, addendums, amendments, and change orders.
- Records of contract approvals by employees or elected public officials.
- Policies and procedures for contract administration, including delegation or approval thresholds.
- Any process narratives or audit reports regarding contract administration.
- The current records retention schedule.
I am happy to discuss how we can make the fulfillment of this request easier for your agency, like extending the timeline or negotiating a monthly production schedule.
Additional information that has helped other agencies fully respond to our requests:
- A link will suffice if records are already published online, for example, sometimes full contracts are published in meeting agendas or packets. In this case, we could simply use a link to the main agenda webpage.
- Documents need not be organized together or linked in any way, as long as sufficient identifying information is available. For example, it is common for contracts to be stored in a contract or document management system while change order approvals may be housed in another system. Change orders may not even have an associated document, just an approval record in some database. In this case, we could work with an excel file, CSV, or other data dump of change order approvals and a data dictionary, in addition to the contract document.
- If the active dates of contracts are not readily available, the execution date, internal approval date, or other date is likely sufficient.
- Please deliver the files in whatever method is most convenient for your office. We have received mail with a USB drive (which we pay for), CDs, or DVDs. We have received sharing links to online storage services (Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, etc.), public records portals, FTP credentials, and emails with individual files or compressed attachments. The upload link at the bottom of this email is also available.
What are we doing and why?
Legal Robot uses machine learning to understand contracts. As part of the AI Ethics Initiative (which funds this work), we are sourcing contracts from many public agencies across the US to support investigative journalism and improve the negotiating position of public agencies. All materials will be made available to the public, for free. As it is all public, the data will also be available to your agency, for free.
If there are any fees for searching or copying these records, please inform me in advance of fulfilling the request.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 10 calendar days, as the statute requires.
NOTE: a previous version of this request was submitted to email@example.com on July 13th, 2018 but received no response or acknowledgment. A follow-up email was sent on August 3, 2018 to the same email, but received no response. A final follow-up email was sent to firstname.lastname@example.org on June 16, 2019 and once again, received no response.