Right to Know Request
Access to Governmental Records - NH RSA 91-A
Would you like access to governmental records that are unavailable on the Town website? Are you looking for particular information, but are unsure whether or not a relevant record exists or is maintained by the Town? Town officials are happy to assist you with this process.
Governmental Records Defined
Governmental Records are defined as follows: "Governmental records mean any information created, accepted, or obtained on behalf of, any public body, or a quorum of the majority thereof, or any public agency in furtherance of its official function. Without limiting the foregoing,the term "governmental records" includes any written communications or other information, whether in paper, electronic, or other physical form, received by a quorum or majority of a public body in furtherance of its official function, whether at a meeting or outside a meeting of the body." The term "governmental records" shall also include the term "public records." (RSA 91-A:1-a, III)
Partial List of Exemptions to RSA 91-A:
- Records pertaining to internal personnel practices,
- Medical, welfare, library user and videotape sales or rental records,
- Confidential, commercial or financial information and any other records whose disclosure would be an invasion of privacy,
- Notes or materials made for personal use which do not have an official purpose, including notes and materials made prior to, during or after a public proceeding,
- Preliminary drafts, notes and memoranda and other documents not in their final form and not disclosed, circulated or available to quorum of a public body,
- Some law enforcement files (our office will confer with legal counsel before authorizing the release of any documents regarding law enforcement files), and
- written legal advice.
Filing a Right to Know Request
While State law does not require the submission of a written Right to Know request, written requests assure that the Town and requester have a verifiable copy of the request, and there is no ambiguity as to what is being requested.
Request for a copy of an Incident or Arrest Report are handled directly by the Bow Police Department and the request must be in writing. Click here for the request form.
Request for arrest records as part of Discovery can be made to the Concord City Prosecutors Office at 603-230-4990.
Formal right-to-know requests are referred to the Town Manager's Office and overseen directly by the Town Manager. The Manager's Office serves as the one point of contact for the Town and the one point of information dissemination.
Upon the receipt of are request for any governmental record reasonably described, the Town will make available for inspection and copying any such governmental record within its files when such records are immediately available for such release.
If the Town is unable to make a governmental record available for immediate inspection and copying, it will provide a written acknowledgment of the receipt of the request, and a statement of the time reasonably necessary to determine whether the request shall be granted or denied. The written acknowledgement must be provided to the requestor within five (5) business days of the Town's receipt of the request.,
If a computer, photocopying machine, or other, is used to copy the governmental record requested, the person requesting the copy may be charged the actual cost of providing the copy.