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Custodian of Public Records

MSC05 3440
Scholes Hall, Room 208
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Phone: 505.277.5983

IPRA Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Regarding the Inspection of Public Records.

What is the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA)?
The New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) is built on the United States’ historical position that the records of government are “the people’s records.” IPRA provides citizens with steps to take in order to request records pertaining to public business from any public office in New Mexico while protecting certain specific types of records from release. It also establishes a legal process to enforce compliance.
Who can make a request for public records?
Any person can request public records. The request can be made by phone, or in an e-mail or letter. The requester cannot be required to explain why the records are being requested. Often, however, a voluntary discussion about the requester’s purposes or interest in seeking certain information can aid the public office in locating and producing the desired records. While an individual is not required to submit a request in writing to inspect or receive a copy of a public record, the University encourages the requestor to submit a written request in order to minimize any confusion and to allow the University to properly track the request.
What is a "public record"?

Except those records that are identified as exempt under the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act, or the release of which is otherwise prohibited by law, IPRA describes public records as follows:

§§ 14-2-1
As used in this section, "records" include [1] any document, device, or item, regardless of physical form or characteristic; [2] created or received by or coming under the jurisdiction of any public office of the state or its political subdivisions; [3] maintained or held by or on behalf of any public body and relate to public business.

How can an individual make a public records request to the University?

§§ 14-2-8 Procedure for Requesting Records
Any person wishing to inspect public records may submit an oral or written request to the custodian. However, the procedures set forth in this section shall be in response to a written request. The failure to respond to an oral request shall not subject the custodian to any penalty.

Public record requests can be made directly to the University's Custodian of Public Records by mail, email or phone during normal business hours at:

Anne Murray
Associate University Counsel, Custodian of Public Records
Office  of University Counsel, Scholes Hall, Room 208
1 University of New Mexico, MSC05 3440
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
505.277.5983
AMurray@salud.unm.edu

What is the University's response time?
The Custodian will acknowledge the request within three (3) business days, and will strive to respond no later than fifteen (15) calendar days after receiving the request. If the Custodian determines that a written request is excessively burdensome or broad, an additional reasonable period of time shall be allowed to comply with the request. The Custodian shall provide written notification to the requester within fifteen (15) calendar days of the receipt of the request that additional time will be needed.
Can an individual inspect a public record in person?

Yes. An individual may inspect records at a mutually convenient time arranged during University business hours. However, if the person also would like copies of records and such records cannot be readily copied due to the volume or the need to remove certain information, the requestor may return at a later date to collect copies or make arrangements for copies to be mailed to the requestor.

Is there a fee for gathering information to fulfill the request?

As permitted by IPRA, the University will normally charge for copying records in accordance with the fee schedule determined by statute. If the estimated cost exceeds ten dollars ($10), the Custodian should provide an estimate of the charges and may require advance payment before making copies. 

What if a University office or department receives a public records request?

It is important that the University office or department contact the University's Custodian of Public Records to coordinate a response. 

Is the University required to create reports to comply with a request?
No. It is the University's obligation to gather and copy existing records. The University is not obligated to create reports or compile information that does not already exist. Only existing documents are releasable.