Data Practices Request

The Government Data Practices Act presumes that all government data are public unless a state or federal law says the data are not public. The Government Data Practices Act also provides that the City of Victoria must keep all government data in a way that makes it easy for you, as a member of the public, to access public data. You have the right to look at (inspect), free of charge, all public data that we keep. You also have the right to get copies of public data. The Government Data Practices Act allows us to charge for copies. You have the right to look at data, free of charge, before deciding to request copies.

Application Instructions

To look at data or request copies of data that the City keeps, the City generally requires a written request. You may make your request for data by filling out an online form or a paper form provided by the City and sending it by email, U.S. mail, or by hand-delivering it to the City.

Please be sure that your data request is as clear and detailed as possible. If the City does not understand your request, the City may ask you for clarification. The City cannot begin processing your data request if you do not provide the requested clarification.

In addition, if your request is so broad that it yields voluminous data, the City may ask if there is more specific data you seek. The City may also ask whether you wish to inspect the data at City offices prior to making copies, or require a deposit for actual costs of providing the copies.

The City cannot require you, as a member of the public, to identify yourself or explain the reason for your data request. However, depending on how you want us to process your request (if, for example, you want us to mail you copies of data), we may need some information about you. If you choose not to give us any identifying information, we will provide you with contact information so you may check on the status of your request. In addition, please keep in mind that if we do not understand your request and have no way to contact you, we will not be able to process your request.

Application Forms

  • Request data through the online form: 
  • Or request data by filling out the PDF form:
  • Once a fee has been estimated, pay the associated fees:
    • Via check (Attn: City of Victoria), money order, or dropping off at Victoria City Hall, 1670 Stieger Lake Lane, PO Box 36, Victoria, MN 55386
    • Via credit card by contacting City Hall at 952-443-4210

Data Request Process

Upon receiving your request, the City will work to process it.

  • If we do not have the data, we will notify you in writing as soon as reasonably possible.
  • If we have the data, but the data are not public, we will notify you as soon as reasonably possible and state which specific law says the data are not public or cannot be disclosed.
  • If we have the data, and the data are public, we will respond to your request appropriately and promptly, within a reasonable amount of time by doing one of the following:
    • arrange a date, time, and place to inspect data, for free, if your request is to look at the data, or
    • provide you with copies of the data as soon as reasonably possible. You may choose to pick up your copies, or we will mail or email them to you if possible. If you want us to send the copies through the mail, you will need to provide us with an address or email address. We may provide electronic copies (such as email or CD-ROM) upon request if we keep the data in electronic format.

If you do not understand some of the data (technical terminology, abbreviations, or acronyms), please let us know. We will give you an explanation if you ask.

The Government Data Practices Act does not require us to create or collect new data in response to a data request if we do not already have the data, or to provide data in a specific form or arrangement if we do not keep the data in that form or arrangement. For example, if the data you request are on paper only, we are not required to create electronic documents to respond to your request.

Copy Costs and Payment

The City of Victoria charges members of the public for copies of government data. These charges are authorized under Minnesota Statutes, section 13.03, subdivision 3(c).

Pre-payment is mandatory for all copy requests for which fees are charged. Additionally, if a data request will result in voluminous numbers of documents, the City may ask for a deposit prior to copying data. If the cost of providing the copies is less than the deposit amount, you will receive a refund of the unused deposit amount. If the cost of providing the copies exceeds the deposit amount, you are responsible for the remaining balance before the copies will be provided to you. You must pay the deposit amount before the City will begin working on your request.

The City will not require payment for copies if the cost of copies is less than $5.00.

For 100 or Fewer Paper Copies – 25 Cents Per Page

100 or fewer pages of black and white, letter or legal size paper copies cost 25¢ for a one-sided copy, or 50¢ for a two-sided copy.

For 100 or More Paper Copies, or Most Other Types of Copies – Actual Cost

The charge for most other types of copies, when a charge is not set by statute or rule, is the actual cost of searching for and retrieving the data, and making the copies, or electronically transmitting the data (e.g. sending the data by email).

In determining the actual cost of making copies, the City considers factors including but not limited to:

  • Staff time to:
    • retrieve documents (except when the subject of the data is making the request);
    • make, certify and compile copies;
    • sort and label documents only if necessary to identify the data to be copied ;
    • remove staples or paper clips;
    • Please note: the cost of employee time to search for data, retrieve data, and make copies should generally not exceed those of the lowest-paid employee who can complete the task performed. However, if, because of the subject matter of your request, we find it necessary for a higher-paid employee to search for and retrieve the data, we will calculate the search and retrieval portion of the copy charge at the higher salary/wage;
  • Materials (paper, copier ink, staples, magnetic tapes, CD’s or DVD’s, thumb drives, etc.);
  • Special costs associated with making copies from computerized data, such as writing or modifying a computer program to format data;
  • Mailing costs; and/or
  • Costs to pay an outside vendor (including transportation to and from the vendor) if your request is for copies of data that we cannot reproduce ourselves, such as photographs.

Resources

Data Practices Policy for Members of the Public

Contact

Cindy Patnode, City Clerk, 952-443-4229 or cpatnode@ci.victoria.mn.us