A public record is a document, regardless of any physical form, that keeps a record of the public business of any state agency. The documents or the pieces of information are not confidential and generally pertain to the conduct of the Government.
All the ‘physical form’ of documents like films, audiotapes, photographs, pictures, digital files, emails, etc., are considered public records.
The information in the documents is authenticated by public officers and then made available to the people for reference and use. Let us know more about public record information.
Various public sector departments are involved in the collection of public record information from different sources and maintain a detailed and compact record of the data. Each piece of information collected by the public sector has either public or private nature.
Similarly, some pieces of information do not have public character and should be kept private. For instance, the medical bills of patients in hospitals do not have any requirement of being public. So they are kept private and accessible only for authentic reasons.
Now, such a huge database is impossible to memorize. In that case, we can study how the government operates, how information is produced, and what part of the information is available in public records, documents, and publications.
Types of Public Record Information
As said earlier, public sectors collect and generate public record information for various purposes. The below-mentioned types of public records fall under the public category.
- Evaluation reports:
The audit department of a Government does innumerable investigations on the efficiency and effectiveness of various Government programs and produces neutral evaluation reports.
- Vital Statistics:
Governments record census reports, statistical data of funds and generate vital statistics reports to administer Government programs.
- Court Proceedings:
All documents related to court proceedings like names of witnesses, pieces of evidence, and transcripts of proceedings are subject to public records.
- Laws and Regulations:
Legislation and rulemaking are open to public scrutiny. Records of laws and regulation enactment are also public.
- Political campaigning records:
The election commission produces enormous databases of political campaigns and its finances. It is public record information accessible by anyone.
- Criminal justice records:
Any kind of criminal record, justice record, and arraignment record are subject to public record information.
- Financial information:
Within a country’s boundary, profit or non-profit private sectors and public institutions are bound to create information about financial activities, and they are made public records.
Revenue records are important public records. The government collects records by issuing licenses. So information about issued licenses is liable to be a public record.
Uses of Public Record Information
With the easy access to the internet, access to public records has also increased. The information broker industry regularly uses public records to compile systematic profiles of millions of people. The industry makes profits by exerting services of recompilation and mining data.
Government bodies use the public records to check the continuous development of schemes, financial growth, various statistical updates, and many more. Child development departments check the regularity of child support payments with the help of public records.
Accessing the public records, credit bureaus keep accurate data that helps in paying pensions to retirees.
Public Records are an important ingredient in determining the rate of overall development of a country. Moreover, it is also beneficial for keeping an eye on various governmental works. The public records are easily accessible to all so that everyone can use the data for their own and the country’s benefit.
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