The City of San José is committed to open and transparent government and strives to consistently meet its community’s expectations by providing excellent service in a positive, timely, and transparent manner. It is the duty of City government to serve the public, reaching its decisions and conducting its activities in full view of the public.
The Open Government section is intended to serve as a portal to information on the City of San José website and to facilitate access to City government and its services. It is also meant to provide the public with tools and resources to help improve understanding of their rights regarding public records, public meetings, and other aspects of open government.
HOW TO REQUEST PUBLIC RECORDS
The City of San Jose makes a lot of information available online. Public Records can also be requested in writing, via the mail, email, or fax or verbally on the phone or in person. However, to avoid confusion and to make certain that you obtain the records you want, it is best to put your request in writing. Although not required, the Public Records Request form is available online to assist you in making a request. Requests for public records can also be submitted directly to the department which manages the record being sought. Public Records Act Coordinator information is available in the link provided.
Try to be as clear as possible when requesting records and put date limits on your request. Offer any search clues you can and if you are informed that the records you are requesting do not exist, discuss alternatives with the City staff to whom you are making the request.
If you believe that you have been inappropriately denied access to City of San José public records, you may appeal that denial by contacting the Open Government Manager by email or phone at (408) 535-8120 or the Office of the City Clerk by email or phone at (408) 535-1260.
You may also file a lawsuit with the Santa Clara County Superior Court.
Learn more about the public records appeal process.
ABOUT THE RIGHT TO ACCESS RECORDS
The public’s right to access information concerning the conduct of the people’s business is a fundamental and necessary right. A record shall not be withheld from disclosure unless it is clearly exempt under applicable laws, or unless the public interest served by not making the record public clearly outweighs the public interest served by disclosure of the record.
This page is intended to assist members of the public in obtaining access to City of San José public records under the California Public Records Act and City policy:
- California State Public Records Act (CPRA) - The CPRA ensures public access to public records from state agencies and local governments.It is similar in purpose to the Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
- City of San José Ethics & Public Records Ordinance and Resolutions - The City's ordinances and resolutions on ethics and open government augments the CPRA and re-affirm the right of the public to access public records.
OPEN DATA INFORMATION
Open Data is about providing free access to data in a machine readable format, under an open license that allows the citizens to reuse and redistribute the data. The City has published several data sets including police calls for service, procurement cards transaction and permitting data among others. With the help of Open Data the City aims to be transparent and accountable, improve efficiency and effectiveness of its services, engage residents through data, and innovate in the way we do business.
As the City connects Open Data with our Smart Cities initiatives, new approaches will require enabled and more easily accessible data in order that people within and outside the City organization can build the patterns, insights, decisions, and actions that help the community improve.
This data approach has been outlined in the City’s Open Data Community Architecture (ODCA), which focuses on a collaborative and scalable approach to open data that helps agencies bring their data together to form new levels of analytic solutions. The ODCA document is an open source living document published here on the City’s website as well as on github and the City is always open for feedback from the community via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org for further improvements in its data approach.