Frequently asked questions about data requests
- Date Range: Including a date range will help us narrow our search for data, as well as exclude data that is not relevant to your request.
- Data Holder: If you know the name of the department, division or individuals who maintain the data, include this information so that we may expedite the retrieval of information.
- Keywords: Suggesting keywords and search terms will assist in crafting a search that produces the most relevant data possible.
- Search First: Prior to making a request, review the City's Open Government page to determine if the information you are seeking is already available through a self-service portal or another government entity.
- By Phone: 612-673-2961
- In Person: Requestors can visit the RIU at 350 S. 5th St., Room 31, Minneapolis, MN 55415. Public service hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.
- Online: Requests can be made visiting the RIU site. This page also includes information on types of data maintained, data charges, and processes and procedures related to police records management.
- Review the City's website: The website is a great resource for information and the City is constantly seeking out new ways to make information accessible to the public without requiring the submission of an official request. Check the Open Government page to see all of the ways that we make information available to you.
- Submit your request electronically: Submitting your request using the online form is the most efficient way to have it processed by City staff. Once you receive a tracking number, you can check the progress and current status of your request online on the check status page.
- Send your request to the correct government entity: The City often receives requests for information maintained by other units of local government. This can cause delays in the fulfillment of the request due to the need to re-direct it. You can find a listing of commonly requested data types maintained by other entities on our Browse page.
- Data on Individuals – means all government data in which any individual is or can be identified as the subject of that data, unless the appearance of the name or other identifying data can be clearly demonstrated to be only incidental to the data and the data are not accessed by name or other identifying data of any individual.
- Data not on Individuals – are all government data that are not on individuals.
- Data on Decedents – are government data related to an individual who is no longer living.
- Government Data should be available to everyone, with few exceptions
- The City must ensure proper protection for all private, confidential and non-public information
When will you respond to my request?
The law requires that we must respond to public data requests within a reasonable amount of time. If the request is for data about you, we must respond within 10 business days.
When you submit a request online, you will receive an automated notification as well as a reference number for your request.
How do I craft an effective request?
When sending a request for data to the City, it is important to have as much information and detail as possible. If possible, include the following types of information in your request:
Where do I request police data?
The Police Department operates a separate Records and Information Unit (RIU) to manage all MPD data and records. Requests for MPD data should be made directly to the RIU. Requestors can contact the RIU to make a request in the following ways:
When will I get my data?
We are rarely able to provide an estimate because data production depends on numerous factors. Requests vary in their complexity and larger, more complex requests, can involve numerous departments and individuals and large amounts of data to be reviewed. We will however, do our best to produce your data in a timely manner and keep you informed of that status of the request as it proceeds toward fulfillment.
Is there any way to expedite my request?
There are several steps you can take to ensure that your request for government data is fulfilled as quickly as possible. The list below highlights several that come up the most frequently:
What is government data?
The Minnesota Government Data Practices Act states that “Government Data” means all data collected, created, received, maintained or disseminated by any government entity regardless of its physical form, storage media or conditions of use. Government data is further divided into the categories of:
These classifications each have three subcategories that determine who can access data. The following chart sets out the framework for classification and access:
|Data on Individuals||Data Not on Individuals||Data on Decedents||Who Has Access|
|Private||Nonpublic||Private||Data subjects and government employees and officials with a business need to know|
|Confidential||Protected Nonpublic||Confidential||Only government employees and officials with a business need to know|
Who is responsible for government data?
The Minneapolis City Clerk, Casey Carl, has been designated by the City Council as the City’s Responsible Authority under the Government Data Practices Act.
The Responsible Authority is accountable for the collection, use, and dissemination of any set of data on individuals, government data, or summary data, unless otherwise provided by state law. The Responsible Authority has also assigned departmental “designees” to be in charge of individual files or systems containing government data and to receive and comply with requests for government data.
How does the City manage information?
Making government data and records accessible and available to the public is a critical function of the City of Minneapolis. In order to coordinate this effort across departments, the City has established policies and guidelines to ensure that records are properly managed and available throughout their lifecycle.
There are two guiding principles that must be balanced in the management of data created and maintained by the City:
All City of Minneapolis employees are expected to adhere to these principles when creating and handling data so that both the City’s interests and the rights of the public are protected. The City follows all applicable State and Federal law related to Data Practices and Records Management as well as internal policies that govern the practices of its employees.
Does the City maintain personal data about me?
Ensuring the protection of information classified as private, confidential or non-public is a key concern for the City of Minneapolis. The City collects and maintains this information for a variety of purposes such as registration for programs and services, application for employment, subscriptions to mailing lists, the conduct of business with the City, and many other critical functions.
It is our duty to protect this information from unauthorized collection and use and, in adherence with state law, to notify the public of any suspected breaches of this protected information. The City also adheres to the requirement to maintain Safe at Home program participant data in compliance with Minnesota Statute.
Last updated Mar 12, 2019