Public Access to Public Data Charge Policy

This policy governs how much the City can charge for access to public data.
Type Enterprise
Applies To City Council Departments
Synopsis Policy governing charges for public access to public data.

Governed by Minnesota Statutes and Rules

Council Action: Nov. 9, 2000

Revised: Jan. 22, 2018

Keywords Copy fee, searching, retrieving, public information, data charge
Administering Department City Clerk/Records Management

Data Charges for Public Access to Public Data

The following policy governs charges associated with providing information to the public. This policy applies to requests for copies of public data. In accordance with statute, nothing in this policy authorizes collection of a fee for inspection of public data, where no copies are requested. These policies are based upon the interest of the public in receiving timely and appropriate access to public data, cost to the City of providing copies of public data and the cost of financial transactions to the City.

The Data Compliance Official shall periodically review the guidelines to determine if adjustments are appropriate and may set new guidelines or make such adjustments to the existing in his/her discretion.

Regulations Governing Data Charges

The following governs what the city may charge:

Guiding Principles of Data Charges

In determining the fees to be charged in a given instance, the City will be guided by the following principles:

  • All reasonable effort must be made to determine the actual costs of searching for, retrieving, copying and, where applicable, certifying the data. The City should not charge any fee that is more than the demonstrated cost of allowable expenses.
  • When possible, City staff will utilize the Document Solutions Center for efficient and cost-effective copying of documents
Data charging schedule
Charge Type Fee
Hourly Rate (charged in ¼ hour increments) $30.00
911 Call Transcript $30.00/hour
Physical Copies $0.25/page up to 100 pages
CD/DVD $1.00/disk
Printing Cost - B/W $0.06/page
Printing Costs - Color $0.25/page
Flash Drive (4-8GB) $5.00
Flash Drive (16-32GB) $10.00
Certification Service $5.00/instance
3.5”x5” Photo Prints $10.00 base plus $0.25/photo
8”x12” Photo Prints $10.00 base plus $0.25/photo


In-person inspection of data is always free

Inspection of data is defined in the MGDPA and includes, but is not limited to, "the visual inspection of paper and similar types of government data." Inspection may also include the on-site viewing of digitally maintained information as well as audio and video data. 

Minn. Stat. 13.03, subd. 3 states that, "If a person requests access for the purpose of inspection, the Responsible Authority may not assess a charge or require the requesting person to pay a fee to inspect data."

Actual Cost

The City of Minneapolis will only charge for request totals that exceed $30.00

When the City does assess a fee for the provision of data, it may do so only by determining the actual cost for the production of the material. Actual cost is calculated according to rates established in this policy.

Serial Requesting

In an effort to maintain the efficiency of the data practices request process, the City reserves the right to combine multiple requests that appear to be submitted in an effort to avoid the assessment of a fee. The City may consider multiple requests submitted by a requesting individual or organization within 60 days as a single request for purposes of determining fee waiver eligibility.

Data Subjects

When a requestor is the subject of the data being requested, the City may only charge the actual cost for an employee to make paper copies or print copies of electronically stored data. The City will not charge data subjects for time spent searching for and retrieving data. 

Media Requests

Requests made by members of the media for journalistic purposes will generally not be assessed a fee. However, if the request requires manipulation of the data or preparation of data for production in a manner other than the way the City maintains the data, the City reserves the right to assess a fee. 

Inter-Governmental Requests

Requests for data made by other governmental entities will generally not be assessed a fee. However, if the request requires manipulation of the data or preparation of data for production in a manner other than the way the City maintains the data, the City reserves the right to assess a fee.

Data charges MAY include:

  • Cost of media (Paper, CD ROMS, DVDs, Flash Drives, etc.)
  • Mailing costs
  • Employee time to prepare media (see standard hourly rate)
  • Costs of reproduction that cannot be done by the entity, such as photographs, oversized materials, etc. 
  • Employee time to search for and retrieve the data (this charge does not apply if the requestor is the subject of the data.)

Data charges MAY NOT include:

  • Employee time to redact or separate public from not public data
  • Operating expenses of office equipment
  • Costs not related to preparing media, such as generating invoices or cover sheets
  • Sales tax
  • Accounting functions
  • Costs related to the inspection of data

Contact us

City Clerk

Information Governance



Mailing address

City Hall
350 S. Fifth St., Room 304
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Temporary office location

250 S. Fourth St., Room 100
Minneapolis, MN 55415