The Public Records Regulations require that an RAO provide a detailed, written, good faith estimate for the cost of complying with a public record request.
The fee estimate must contain a statement advising the requester that the actual cost of producing the record might vary once the agency or municipality begins preparing the record. An agency or municipality is permitted to require payment of the estimated fee before commencing work.
All agencies and municipalities are strongly urged to waive the fees associated with access to public records, but are not required to do so under the law.
Public records that are of great interest to a large number of people must be readily available within the office of the RAO and should be provided at a minimum cost, if any. Examples include minutes of board meetings, town meeting documents, warrants, street lists and municipal financial documents. Many of these records are required to be placed on the RAO’s website.