Background

Chapter 13 of the Minnesota Statutes, also known as the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (the “Act”), gives members of the public the right to look at and receive copies of public data the Minnesota Municipal Money Market Fund (4M Fund) keeps. As an intergovernmental joint powers entity, the Act is the primary source the 4M Fund uses in determining the public/non-public nature of data.

 

The following procedures have been adopted to comply with the requirements of the Act:

Responsible Authority and Data Practices Compliance Official

The person who is the Responsible Authority and Data Practices Compliance Official under the Act is the League of Minnesota Cities’ Finance Director, Mark Ruff or his successor. The Data Practices Compliance Official is the employee to whom persons may direct questions or concerns regarding problems in obtaining access to information. The Responsible Authority has designated the following employees to assist in complying with the Act:

Access to Public Data

Generally, information maintained by the 4M Fund is public unless there is a specific statutory designation which gives it a different classification.

People Entitled to Access

Any person has the right to inspect and copy public data. The person also has the right to have an explanation of the meaning of the data. The person does not need to state his or her name or give the reason for the request.

Questions of Requesting Parties

People requesting public data must not be asked to identify themselves or state a reason for the request. They may be asked to provide certain identifying or clarifying information for the sole purpose of facilitating access to the data.

Procedures

The request for public data may be verbal or written. The requestor has the right to have a copy of any data that they have a right to see. This includes the right to have copies of all or parts of specific documents, files, records or other types of data the 4M Fund keeps.

Response

  • We will respond as soon as possible about whether the data is available.
  • If copies cannot be made at the time of the request, we will endeavor to provide the data as soon as reasonably possible, depending on scope of request, how many copies are requested and how many staff are available to respond to the request.
  • If more time is needed to identify, find or copy the requested data, we will notify the requestor about when the data will be available.
  • We are not required to provide information verbally over the telephone.
  • We may provide information by fax or email, at our own discretion.
  • We are not required to provide information in any specific format, except if the data is maintained in electronic format and requested in electronic format, then it must be provided in that medium. This does not mean we will provide the data in an electronic format or program that is different from what the 4M Fund uses.

Access to Data on Individuals

Information about individual people is classified by law as public, private or confidential. The collection and storage of information about individuals will be limited to that necessary for the administration and management of programs specifically authorized and operated by the 4M Fund. When an individual is asked to supply private or confidential information about the individual, a Tennessen warning must be provided. This warning must contain the following:

  • The purpose and intended use of the requested data,
  • Whether the individual may refuse or is legally required to supply the requested data,
  • Any known consequences from supplying or refusing to supply the information, and
  • The identity of other persons or entities authorized by state or federal law to receive the data.

People entitled to access:

  • Public information about an individual may be shown or given to anyone.
  • Private information about an individual may be shown or given to:
    • The subject, but only once every six months, unless a dispute about the data has arisen or additional data has been collected.
    • A person who has been given access by the express written consent of the data subject. This consent must be on a consent to release private information form.
    • People who are authorized access by federal, state or local law or court order.
    • People about whom the individual was advised at the time the data was collected. The identity of those people must be part of the Tennessen warning.
    • 4M Fund staff, its Board of Trustees and outside agents (such as attorneys) whose work assignments or responsibilities reasonably require access.
  • Confidential information may not be given to the subject of the data, but may be shown or given to:
    • People who are authorized access by federal, state or local law or court order.
    • 4M Fund staff, its Board of Trustees and outside agents (such as attorneys) whose work assignments or responsibilities reasonably require access.

Identification of requesting party

The responsible authority or designee must verify the identity of the requesting party as a person entitled to access private or confidential data. This can be through personal knowledge, presentation of written identification, comparison of the data subject’s signature on a consent form with the person’s signature in city records or other reasonable means.

Procedures

Any individual may request verbally or in writing if the 4M Fund has stored data about that individual and whether the data is classified as public, private or confidential.

All requests to see or copy private or confidential information must be in writing. The responsible authority or designee must document who requests and who receives this information.

Response

  • If the requestor is the subject of the data, response must be as immediate as possible and no later than 0 days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays).
  • If the requestor is a third party, we will respond as soon as possible.

Summary Data

Summary data is statistical records and reports derived from data on individuals, but which does not identify an individual by name or any other characteristic that could uniquely identify an individual. Summary data derived from private or confidential data is public. The responsible authority or designee will prepare summary data upon request if the request is in writing and the requesting party pays for the cost of preparation. The responsible authority or designee must notify the requesting party about the estimated costs and collect those costs before preparing or supplying the summary data. This should be done within 10 days after receiving the request. If the summary data cannot be prepared within 10 days, the responsible authority must notify the requester of the anticipated time schedule and the reasons for the delay.

Summary data may be prepared by obscuring or eliminating personal identifiers, cutting out portions of the records that contain personal identifiers, programming computers to delete personal identifiers or other reasonable means. The responsible authority may ask an outside agency or person to prepare the summary data if:

  • The specific purpose is given in writing,
  • The agency or person agrees not to disclose the private or confidential data, and
  • The responsible authority determines that access by this outside agency or person will not compromise the privacy of the private or confidential data.

The responsible authority may require a government data access and nondisclosure agreement.

Data Protection

Protection of not public data

Data that is classified as not public is stored so that it is only accessible by persons whose work assignments reasonably require access to the data. Not public data is segregated, or otherwise stored, in a way to limit access to only designated 4M Fund staff, the responsible authority, administration’s senior leadership team and the League of Minnesota Cities’ General Counsel. Data classification and a listing of who can access the not public data is found in data inventory worksheets.

Destruction of not public data

When not public data is being disposed of in accordance with the 4M Fund’s data retention schedule, it is destroyed in a way that prevents its contents from being determined.

Denial of Access

If the responsible authority or designee determines the requested data is not accessible to the requesting party, the responsible authority or designee must inform the requesting party orally at the time of the request or in writing as soon after that as possible. The responsible authority or designee must give the specific legal authority, including statutory section, for withholding the data. The responsible authority or designee must place an oral denial in writing upon request. This must also include the specific legal authority for the denial.

Challenge to Data Accuracy

An individual who is the subject of public or private data may contest the accuracy or completeness of that data maintained by the 4M Fund. The individual must notify the responsible authority in writing describing the nature of the disagreement. Upon receiving notice of a challenge, the responsible authority shall inform the individual of their right to appeal when determining data are accurate and complete.

Within 30 days, the responsible authority or designee must respond and either:

  1. Correct the data found to be inaccurate or incomplete and attempt to notify past recipients of inaccurate or incomplete data, including recipients named by the individual, or
  2. Notify the individual that the authority believes the data to be correct.

Fees for Copies

  • The 4M Fund has the right to charge a reasonable fee for providing copies. Fees may be charged only if the requesting person asks for a copy or electronic transmittal of the data.
  • If the requestor asks for mail or fax copies, fees may include postage or long-distance phone charges. If a certified copy of a document is requested, the 4M Fund will charge a fee to certify the document.
  • Fees will be charged according to the League of Minnesota Cities standard photocopying policy, unless significant time is required. In that case, the fee will include the actual cost of searching for, retrieving and copying or electronically transmitting the data. The fee may not include time necessary to separate public from non-public data.
  • The responsible authority may charge an additional fee if the copies have commercial value and are a substantial and discrete portion of a formula, compilation, program, process or system developed with significant expenditure of public funds. This additional fee must relate to the actual development costs of the information.
  • The requestor has the right to look at public data, and private data on them, at no cost. The 4M Fund may limit inspections to times and places that are reasonable given hybrid work arrangements and limited public access to a physical building. The 4M Fund may also choose to mail responsive data at no charge to the requestor in order to facilitate a timely review of the information off site.
  • The 4M Fund may require a portion or full payment in advance.

Abandoned Requests for Data

Unless extenuating circumstances exist, a data request is considered abandoned and closed when any of the following occur:

  • Requestor does not provide some way to contact them for request clarification, to receive notice the data is available, or has not checked in with the responsible authority in 10 business days to determine status of request.
  • When asked, the requestor declines, or does not provide clarification as to the data being requested in 10 business days.
  • Upon being notified the data are ready, the requestor does not respond in 10 business days.
  • Requestor declines, or refuses to schedule, free onsite review of the material and refuses to pay for copies (physical or electronic).