Data Access Policy

  • Custodian of Policy: Office of Institutional Effectiveness
    Relevant Minnesota State System Policy: Board Policy 5.23
    Effective Date: Fall 2013
    Last Review: Spring 2013
    Next Review: Spring 2014
    Relevant Procedures: The entire procedure on how to make a data request can be found on the Registrar's Office website

    Policy

    The Data Practices Act (Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 13) presumes that all government data are public unless a state or federal law says the data are not public.

    The Data Practices Act also provides that Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) must keep all government data in a way that makes it easy for members of the public to access public data. The public has the right to look at (inspect), free of charge, all public data that the University keeps. The public also has the right to get copies of public data. The Data Practices Act allows the University to charge for copies. The public has the right to look at data, free of charge, before deciding to request copies.

    Definitions

    Government Data is a term that means all recorded information a government entity has, including paper, email, CD-ROMs, photographs, etc.

    Guidelines

    • Any member of the public is allowed to view public information without charge.
    • Viewing of public information will be at reasonable times and places.
    • Viewing does not include receiving copies of information unless providing a copy is the only way to provide viewing.
    • Viewing includes remote access and the ability of the public to download the data on the public's own computer, but in some cases, MSUM may charge for such access.
    • MSUM will provide access to public data as soon as reasonably possible but may not be able to provide the information immediately because it requires time to locate or copy the information.
    • MSUM does not have to provide data that it does not keep.
    • If MSUM determines the data requested is not public information, the University will provide notice verbally or in writing as soon as it reasonably can, and the law that applies will be noted. If requested, MSUM will provide its decision in writing.

    Rationale

    The Data Practices Act (Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 13) and Minnesota State System Board Policy 5.23 require that Minnesota State University Moorhead establish and publish a policy regarding access to public data.