Public Information Act (PIA)

What is the Public Information Act?
The Maryland Public Information Act (PIA), enacted in 1970 and codified at §§ 10-611 to 10-628 in the State Government Article within the Maryland Annotated Code, gives public access to public documents while safeguarding legitimate state interests and individual citizens' privacy rights. 

The PIA grants you the right to review the available records that are disclosable and to obtain copies of those records. It does not require an agency to answer informational questions or to create a record to satisfy your request.

What is a Public Record?
A public record is defined as the original or copy of any documentary material in any form, to include written materials, books, photographs, photocopies, films, microfilms, records, tapes, computerized records, maps and drawings created or received by the county in connection with the transaction of public business.

Who can submit a PIA request?
Anyone can submit a PIA request. This includes citizens, corporations, associations, public interest groups, private individuals and universities.

Are all government records available? 
No. The PIA attempts to balance the public’s right to access government records with other policies that respect the privacy or confidentiality of certain information.

Whom do I contact to get access to a record under the PIA? 
There is no central agency that is responsible for PIA requests. Please view our PIA request page to submit a request to Calvert County Government.

Are there fees related to the Public Information Act?
Fees may not be used to discourage requesters. PIA fees are limited to standard charges for direct document search, review and duplication. Also, the PIA specifies that requesters receive the first two hours of search and preparation time without charge. Fees are available on our PIA request page.

Where can I learn more about the Public Information Act?
The PIA can be found in §§ 10-611 to 10-628 of the State Government Article, which is an article within the Maryland Annotated Code. The Maryland Annotated Code is available at local public libraries. You may also contact the County Administrator's Office at 410-535-2161.