New Rules for Using Public Communication Devices

Late last week, the California Supreme Court issued a decision that communications concerning the conduct of public business are within the reach of the Public Records Act, even if the communication is sent on an employee’s personal device. According to the decision, personal devices would include cell phones, tablets, desktop or laptop computers, among other electronic equipment. While this may seem like a momentous decision, it is in fact a reminder that we, as public employees, are entrusted to conduct the public’s business with a great sense of integrity and transparency.  Rest assured, with your help, the District has and will continue to process public records requests in accordance with the law.

Attached you will find a set of Frequently Asked Questions that will provide you with information you can use when conducting District business using either District-issued or personal devices. Additionally, there will be various trainings or workshops over the course of the next few months that will help District employees distinguish what is a public vs. a private record. As always, if you receive a public records request from the Office of the General Counsel and need guidance on what constitutes a public record, contact the PRA Unit for assistance at (213) 241-7600.

Thank you,

David Holmquist, General Counsel
Office of the General Counsel