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Public Records

What is a public record?

For information about the public records law generally, please see the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s guide. This guide provides a basic overview of the Massachusetts public records law, the legal definition of “public record,” and general exemptions to the definition of “public record.”

One of the public records law’s general exemptions concerns records “specifically or by necessary implication exempted from disclosure by statute.” Subclause (a) of clause 26 of M.G.L. c. 4, § 7. In accordance with that general exemption, MassDevelopment’s enabling act specifically exempts certain records from disclosure. It provides in part that:

“Any documentary materials or data whatsoever made or received by any member or employee of the [Massachusetts Development Finance] Agency and consisting of, or to the extent that such materials or data consist of, trade secrets or commercial or financial information regarding the operation of any business conducted by an applicant for any form of assistance which the [Massachusetts Development Finance] Agency is empowered to render or regarding the competitive position of such applicant in a particular field of endeavor, shall not be deemed public records of the [Massachusetts Development Finance] Agency and specifically shall not be subject to the provisions of section 10 of chapter 66.”

M.G.L. c. 23G, § 2(l). Accordingly, there are typically more exemptions applicable to records held by MassDevelopment than to records held by other state entities. This additional exemption allows MassDevelopment to better serve its clients and foster the Commonwealth’s economic development.

What type of public records does MassDevelopment maintain?

In order to provide ease-of-access to the public, the following public records are provided online:

Final decisions and votes from agency proceedings
Annual reports
Meeting notices
Winning bids for public contracts
Awards of federal, state, and municipal government grants
Minutes and agendas of board meetings
Minutes of committee meetings
Agency budgets
Municipal bond issuances

How do I make a public records request?

We recommend submitting a written request, though we accept both written and verbal requests. Please submit all requests to our records access officer (see contact information below). While no specific format is required for a public records request, the Secretary of the Commonwealth provides a sample request letter that may be helpful to both you and MassDevelopment.

Initiate a Public Records Request

Records Access Officer

Sean Calnan, Interim General Counsel
99 High Street Boston, MA 02110

Phone: 617-330-2000