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Do you have a LEGAL right to obtain documents, including financial and budget statements, lease agreements, etc. from local and state agencies in Maryland?    Absolutely.

Maryland's Public Information Act (PIA) gives the public the right to access government records without unnecessary cost and delay.

This act applies to all three branches of Maryland state government as well as local government entities.


Does it really work?   Yes.

We have used this act repeatedly since 2007 to obtain copies of nearly one thousand pages of financial records and other important legal documents from the Montgomery County Revenue Authority and Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. In fact, most of the information contained in this website by has come from these documents. would only like to add that both agencies have been extremely cooperative and we applaud their honoring both the spirit and the letter of Maryland's Public Information Act or "MPIA."

The PIA grants you the right to review the available records that can be disclosed, e.g. budget , financial and expense records but not personnel records, and to get copies of those records. The PIA does not require an agency to answer general informational questions or to create a record or document that does not already exist just to satisfy your request.


Some Useful Tips:

Always submit your request in writing directly to the agency whose record(s) you seek.

State in your letter that you are making the request for documents under the legal provisions provided to you under Maryland's PIA or "MPIA." 

Address your request to the person in the agency who is responsible for the record(s) you seek or preferably to the head of the agency.

Be as specific as you can in describing the record(s) you seek. There is a big difference between a budget estimate and a final, end of year budget statement. If all you ask for is a budget statement that is not being specific enough. What fiscal year? Which facilities? Final?

Ask that any and all fees associated with the fulfillment of your request be waived.

It never hurts to send your request by certified mail. Agency directors are busy people but a certified letter to them invoking the "MPIA" generally gets their attention and your request to where it needs to go.

Note: Government agencies are expected to comply with a request within 30 days from the time they receive your request.


The Maryland Public Information Act Manual, providing a detailed legal analysis of the PIA and further information on the PIA is available online at website for Doug Gansler, Attorney General.


If an agency denies all or part of your request it must provide you, in writing, an explanation that includes:

The reason for denial.

The legal authority justifying the denial.

Your appeal rights.


The public's right to information about their government's activities lies at the heart of a truly democratic government.


Who do you want records from?

Montgomery County Revenue Authority

Agency Head: Keith Miller (director)

101 Monroe St. #410

Rockville, MD 20850


Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission

Agency Head: Mary Bradford (director)

9500 Brunett Ave.

Silver Spring, MD 20901


                            HOME hopes that you found this information helpful.