The photograph above was taken on December 4, 2012 outside of a building owned and operated by the Florida Department of Management Services, (“DMS”), on behalf of the citizens of Florida. This particular facility houses numerous other Florida State agencies, all of which are subject to Florida’s Public Records Act.
This is the third DMS facility that I’ve visited, which has a policy requiring EVERYONE, including folks that are seeking to make a public records request, to produce a photo ID and a signature as a condition of entering the building. I suppose that if you don’t have ID and/or you cannot write, you won’t be able to exercise your constitutional and statutory rights to inspect public records stored within a DMS operated facility.
Here’s what the Government-In-The-Sunshine-Manual has to say about public records and ID requirements:
“May an agency require that the requestor disclose his or her name or furnish background information to the custodian?
A person requesting access to or copies of public records may not be required to disclose his or her name, address, telephone number or the like to the custodian, unless the custodian is required by law to obtain this information prior to releasing the records. AGOs 92-38 and 91-76. See also Bevan v. Wanicka, 505 So. 2d 1116 (Fla. 2d DCA 1987) (production of public records may not be conditioned upon a requirement that the person seeking inspection disclose background information about himself or herself ).
Accordingly, an agency may not require an anonymous requestor to disclose his or her name, address, telephone number, or similar identifying information to the custodian prior to inspecting or receiving copies of public records. Inf. Op. to Cook, May 27, 2011.”
page 149 Government-In-The-Sunshine-Manual, 2012 Edition