Public Records Request

During the current public health emergency, some provisions of the Sunshine Ordinance have been modified or suspended, as noted below. For more information, read the City Attorney’s Office memorandum here.

The San Francisco Department on the Status of Women’s public records request process is structured in accordance with the SF Sunshine Ordinance (Chapter 67 of the San Francisco Administrative Code) and the California Public Records Act (California Govt. Code § 6250 et seq). Per the Sunshine Ordinance: “Government’s duty is to serve the public, reaching its decisions in full view of the public.” The Department on the Status of Women believes strongly in the right of citizens to access information concerning the conduct of their government and is committed to conducting all activities with full transparency and openness.

How to Request Public Records
The Department on the Status of Women has a Custodian of Records whose duties include receiving and responding to requests for public records. Requests for the Department on the Status of Women records can be submitted by email to DOSW@SFGOV.ORG.

Time Allowed to Respond to a Request for Public Records
The Department on the Status of Women responds to all requests for public records as promptly as reasonably possible, and provides responsive records, if any, as soon as possible after they are available.

Per California Govt. Code § 6253(c), the Department on the Status of Women is allowed 10 calendar days to respond to a public records request. In certain circumstances, the Department on the Status of Women may extend its time to respond by an additional 14 calendar days. If the Department on the Status of Women extends the time to respond, the department will notify the requesting party in writing within the initial 10-day response period of the reason(s) for the extension and the estimated date of response. During the current public health emergency, the department is not required to provide copies of records by these deadlines but must notify the requester whether the records exist.

Immediate Disclosure Requests -Unavailable during the current public health emergency

The Department on the Status of Women's Records That Are Subject to Disclosure
Some records in the possession of the Department on the Status of Women are exempt from public disclosure under federal, state and/or local laws. Examples of records the Department on the Status of Women is prohibited from disclosing or may decline to disclose include: personnel, medical or similar files the disclosure of which would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy; privileged attorney-client communications between the Department on the Status of Women and lawyers for the City; and proprietary financial information submitted to the Department on the Status of Women in response to a request for proposals prior to award of a contract. If a responsive record contains both exempt and non-exempt information, the Department on the Status of Women will redact the exempt material and make the remainder of the record available to the requesting party.

The Department on the Status of Women’s Response to a Public Records Request 
The Department on the Status of Women will provide a written response that will notify the requesting party (1) whether the Department on the Status of Women has located any responsive records, (2) whether any exemptions to disclosure apply and, if so, the legal and factual grounds for the exemptions, and (3) whether any responsive records are available for inspection or pick-up. The Department on the Status of Women’s notice to the requesting party will generally include the applicable copying and postage fees and/or location where the records may be inspected.

If a request is submitted to the Department on the Status of Women that should have been submitted to a different department, or if the Department on the Status of Women knows that another department may have additional responsive records related to a request it receives, the Department on the Status of Women will inform the requester of the other department(s) that may have responsive records. Please note that the Department on the Status of Women is not required to create any documents in response to a public records request.

The Department on the Status of Women generally responds to public records requests in the same manner as they were received. Our preference is to communicate and transmit records through email at DOSW@SFGOV.ORG whenever possible.

Any member of the public with questions about the Department on the Status of Women’s public records request policy or procedures may contact the Custodian of Public Records at (415) 252-2570.

Information about the Sunshine Ordinance public records requests process in general is also available at the following City websites: