The Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) grants you the right to review available records that are disclosable and to obtain copies of those records. A public record is defined as the original or copy of any documentary material in any form created or received by an agency in connection with the transaction of public business. Included in this definition are written materials, books, photographs, photocopies, films, microfilms, records, tapes, computerized records, maps, drawings and other materials.

However, some public records are confidential under federal or state statutes, under court rules, or under various common law privileges such as attorney-client privilege and legislative privilege, and may be protected from disclosure under the PIA. In addition, the County has the right to withhold records if it is determined that disclosure of those records would be “contrary to the public interest."

Note: The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) applies only to agencies of the U.S. government, not to State and local agencies.

Open Data

Howard County Open Data is part of a broader initiative to create an environment of expanded government openness and transparency.

Submit a PIA Request

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Frequently Asked Questions

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