Minnesota

State Public Records Law

2023 Minnesota Statutes

 

Minnesota Statutes Annotated, Data Practices (Ch. 13-13C)

 

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Exemptions to Disclosure

  • Proprietary info
  • Records of the University of Minnesota, Minnesota State Agriculture Society, or Minnesota Historical Society
  • Trade secrets (including records government has acquired a copyright or patent over)

Access Rights

  • All records transferred to archives are accessible to public unless archives determines info should not be disclosed
  • May be charged fee for remote access to data where either data or access is enhanced at request of requestor
  • No requirement for recipient of request to pass along to proper custodian
  • No fee for inspection
  • “inspection” includes “printing copies” if printing copies is the only way inspection can occur
  • Full convenience and comprehensive accessibility for researchers and scholars except as otherwise expressly provided by law
  • Copies of records that have commercial value and are a substantial and discrete portion of or an entire formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, process, database, or system developed with a significant expenditure of public funds by the government entity, the responsible authority may charge a reasonable fee for the information in addition to the costs of making and certifying the copies. Any fee charged must be clearly demonstrated by the government entity to relate to the actual development costs of the information. The responsible authority, upon the request of any person, shall provide sufficient documentation to explain and justify the fee being charged.

Destruction of Public Records

  • §§ 138.161 through 138.22 control the disposition and destruction of public records.
  • A public officer may certify that a public record is no longer of any administrative, legal or fiscal value even though the record has not been kept the specific period of time required by a statute enacted prior to Laws 1971, c. 529 – Op.Atty.Gen., 851-f, Feb. 5, 1973
  • 138.17 – members of Records Disposition Panel vote on whether to destroy, sell, or salvage government records determined no longer to be of any value
  • Each agency must have retention and disposal schedules
  • Disposal of Records(Minn. Stat. § 138.20)
    • The archivist must keep a record of all orders authorizing the disposition of records.
    • Orders must be in writing and signed by the Records Disposition Panel.
    • Orders must identify the records referred to in them.
    • Records are preserved in the Office of the Archivist and are open to public inspection.
    • Disposal citation includes more than just §§ 138.161 through 138.22, should be §§ 138.161 through 138.25
      • Note several of the sections in-between have been repealed.

Whistleblower Score

Rank: 18/51

Minnesota’s statute has limited coverage (16 out of 33 possible points) with a good degree of usability (25 out of 33) and fair remedies (19 out of 33), plus the one bonus point awarded for employee notification of rights.  

Read the full assessment here»

Minnesota Activity

Feds Put Minnesota DNR Logging on a Short Leash

Prior Certification: No Wildlife/Aquatic Habitat Harm in Timber Projects

Letter to Minnesota Legislative Auditor – Request to Audit MN DNR -12-13-2023 (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: Letter to Minnesota Legislative Auditor Randall to Audit the Minnesota DNR TO: Auditor Judy Randall, ...

COMMENTARY | Unveiling Challenges in Minnesota’s Forest Management

Minnesota DNR employees are concerned that the current forest management plan is unduly prioritizing timber ...

Letter to Minnesota DNR – Sustainable Timber Harvest Report – 10-24-2023 (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: Letter to Minnesota DNR regarding Sustainable Timber Harvest Implementation Report TO: Commissioner ...

Letter to DOI Inspector General – Wildlife Funding vs. Timber Harvest – 10-12-2023 (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: Letter to Department of Interior Inspector General regarding misallocation of Pittman-Robertson and ...

Letter to Minnesota Governor – Timber Harvest – 09-25-2023 (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: Letter to express concern about the State Timber Harvest Plan and the recent controversy surrounding ...

COMMENTARY | DNR Logging Violations on Fisheries and Wildlife Lands

Minnesota DNR failed to protect the natural resources they have been entrusted to manage, allowing logging to ...

Minnesota Timber Practices Draw Sharp Federal Scrutiny

Joint Inspections of Logging in Wildlife and Aquatic Management Areas

Feds Withhold Minnesota Grant Due to Overlogging

DNR Told to End Timber Cuts in Wildlife and Aquatic Management Areas

Reply Comment on Minor Alteration Permit – Great River Energy Cambridge Plant Permit Alteration – 06-30-2023 (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: Initial public comment on application for a Minor Alteration to Great River Energy’s 170 MW, Natural ...

Comment on Minor Alteration Permit – Great River Energy Cambridge Plant Permit Alteration – 06-20-2023 (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: Initial public comment on application for a Minor Alteration to Great River Energy’s 170 MW, Natural ...

Extension Request to Minnesota Public Utilities Commission – Great River Energy Cambridge Plant Permit Alteration – 04-18-2023 (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: Extension Request to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in the In the Matter of a Request for ...

COMMENTARY | Suspend your disbelief—Minnesota Permitting Process Self-Corrects

An air pollution permit granted illegally in to a power plant in Minnesota has been suspended pending ...

COMMENTARY | Minnesota Agency Reverses Course on Illegal Permit

One Minnesota agency corrected its misstep and retracted a bad permit but time will tell if the others follow suit.

PEERMail | We Are Suing to Prevent Further PFAS Contamination

Handling or using fluorinated containers could be a significant pathway for unsafe human exposure to PFOA and other PFAS.

Minnesota Should Axe Its Timber Cord Quotas

Millions in Federal Conservation Aid Withheld Due to DNR Clearcutting

COMMENTARY | Why This Mining Permit Should Fail

Should an agency's misbehavior invalidate their decisions? When it comes to mining permits in Minnesota, PEER thinks so.

Supplemental Comment to Minnesota PUC – Summit Carbon Solutions route permit completeness – 11-21-2022 (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: Supplemental Comment to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission regarding “the Application of ...

Reply Comment to Minnesota PUC – Summit Carbon Solutions route permit completeness – 11-14-2022 (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: Reply Comment to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission regarding “the Application of Summit ...

Initial Comment to Minnesota PUC – Summit Carbon Solutions route permit completeness – 10-07-2022 (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: Initial Comment to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission regarding “the Application of Summit ...

COMMENTARY | Building Better Climate Solutions

To address climate change we must move faster to clean energy sources, reduce energy consumption, and conserve ...

Supplemental Comment to Minnesota Public Utilities Commission – Great River Energy Cambridge Plant Permit Alteration – 07-01-2022 (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: Supplemental Comment to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in the In the Matter of a Request ...

Minnesota Power Plant Must Undergo Environmental Review

Public Utilities Commission Agrees with Petitioners that New Oil-Fired Unit Must Be Studied Under MEPA

Amicus Brief for PolyMet Mining Permit – Minnesota Supreme Court – 06-09-2022 (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: Amicus Brief In the Matter of the Denial of Contested Case Hearing Requests and Issuance of National ...

Public Comment on Polymet Mine Permit – Fond du Lac Band’s Objection – 06-16-2022 (PDF)

PEER’s comment to the Army Corps of Engineers regarding the Fond du Lac Band’s Objection to the Proposed Clean ...

Letter to Minnesota Public Utilities Commission – Great River Energy Cambridge Plant Permit Alteration – 05-13-2022 (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: PEER letter to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in the In the Matter of a Request for a ...

Minnesotans Demand Environmental Review of Oil-burning Power Plant Proposal

Groups Encourage MN Residents and Landowners to Sign MEPA Petition

Response Letter to Minnesota Public Utilities Commission – on Liquified Carbon Dioxide Rulemaking – 03-04-2022 (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: PEER letter to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission in the Matter of a Commission Investigation ...

Letter to Minnesota Public Utilities Commission – on Liquified Carbon Dioxide Rulemaking – 01-31-2022 (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: PEER letter to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission regarding whether the Commission should ...

Comment on PFAS Monitoring Plan – to Minnesota Pollution Control Agency – 01-21-2022 (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: Comment (via letter) to Minnesota Pollution Control Agency on Draft PFAS Monitoring Plan Comment TO: ...

Letter to BLM, USDA – Scope of environmental review for Federal Lands, Minnesota – 01-19-2022 (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: PEER submitted a letter covering past USFS employee critical feedback, treaty rights impacting NEPA ...

Letter to Minnesota Pollution Control Agency – Impaired waters list and PFAS – 01-07-2022 (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: Letter to MPCA regarding the impaired waters list, to consider expanding the type and levels of PFAS ...

PEER Profile | Policy and Litigation in the Midwest

PEER Policy and Litigation attorney Hudson Kingston joins the PEER team, working out of Minnesota.

Letter to Minnesota Public Utilities Commission – 11-17-2021 (PDF)

DESCRIPTION: COMMENTS ON Proposed Amendment to Rules Governing Certificates of Need and Site and Route Permits for ...

Suppressed EPA Concerns About Mega-mine Surface

Billion $ Minnesota Nickel /Copper Mine Will Cause Big Pollution Headaches

EPA Oversight of State Permits Evaporating

Staff Ordered Not to Transmit Comments Even on Controversial Projects

Prairie Pothole Wetlands Imperiled by Their Protectors

Four-State Evaluations Decry Faulty Wetland Calls, Mapping, Reviews and Training

3M CHEMICAL CONTAMINATION WIDESPREAD IN MINNESOTA

New Report Finds Worst PFC Pollution in Nation around Twin Cities

SIGNIFICANT HEALTH RISK FROM PFC LEVELS IN MINNESOTA FISH

State Balks on Issuing Health Advisories

STATE PAYS SCIENTIST $325,000 TO RESIGN

Scotchgard Whistleblower Agrees to Drop Free Speech Lawsuit

RECORD LEVELS OF TOXIC PFCS IN MINNESOTA FISH

Bioaccumulations in Food Chain Are Building; Fish Advisory May Be Needed

“SCOTCHGARD” WHISTLEBLOWER FILES FEDERAL FREE SPEECH LAWSUIT

Gag Order Against Speaking with Legislators and at Scientific Conferences on “Emerging Contaminants”

AGENCY REBUFFS INFORMATION REQUEST IN SCOTCHGARD WHISTLEBLOWER CASE

Issues Raised By Minnesota Scientist Are At Core Of Senator’s Letter

“SCOTCHGARD” WHISTLEBLOWER FILES FEDERAL COMPLAINT

Minnesota Scientist Cites Threats By Ex-3M Executive Heading Pollution Agency

MILITARY INSTALLATIONS SLATED FOR NATIONAL PARK

Air Force Radar Stations in Death Valley
Phone: 202-265-7337

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Silver Spring, MD 20910-4453

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