The basic mandate of the Maryland Public Information Act (MPIA) is to enable people to have access to government records without unnnecessary cost or delay. Custodians have a responsibility to provide such access unless the requested records fall within certain exceptions in the statute.
In the case of our issue with the town commissioners, the selling of Maryland Public Open Space Land, it has been helpful. In fact, it has greatly strengthened our cause for we acquired information that we didn’t have access to otherwise.
It is administered by the Maryland Attorney General’s Office, which has prepared a full manual. This document is what we’ve used to make sure we know our rights to access the data found in the records of the town of Elkton and other governmental bodies.
We strongly encourage other citizens to use this valuable tool when they become involved in advocacy for a public cause. Here’s the link to the manual: http://www.oag.state.md.us/Forms/book.pdf