Statutory Citation: A.S. §09.25.110 et seq.

Definition of Public Record

Section AS 40.25.220(3) in the Alaska Public Records Act defines “public records” to mean “books, papers, files, accounts, writings, including drafts and memorializations of conversations, and other items, regardless of format or physical characteristics, that are developed or received by a public agency, or by a private contractor for a public agency, and that are preserved for their informational value or as evidence of the organization or operation of the public agency; ‘public records’ does not include proprietary software programs.” 1

Exemptions to Public Records

Juvenile, adoption, medical and public health; library lending; names of victims of certain types of sexual assault; and some law enforcement records. 2

Who Can Make The Request?


Response Timeframe

10 days. 3

Information on Fees

Fees are allowed but are required to be kept to a minimum. “Except as otherwise provided in this section, the fee for copying public records may not exceed the standard unit cost of duplication established by the public agency.” 4

Enforcement Mechanisms

Very little explicit enforcement, injunctive relief is permitted against anyone obstructing access to public records. A person having custody or control of a public record who denies, obstructs, or attempts to obstruct, or a person not having custody or control who aids or abets another person in denying, obstructing, or attempting to obstruct, the inspection of a public record subject to inspection under AS 40.25.110 or 40.25.120 may be enjoined by the superior court from denying, obstructing, or attempting to obstruct, the inspection of public records subject to inspection under AS 40.25.110 or 40.25.120. A person may seek injunctive relief under this section without exhausting the person’s remedies under AS 40.25.123 – 40.25.124. 5

Attorney Fees

Under Alaska court rules, the winner of a legal dispute is entitled to recover a portion of its costs from the other side. There used to be provisions for public interest litigants to recover full fees if they won and not pay anything if they lost, but that was abolished in 2003. 6

Do You Want to Make a Public Records Request?

The public records process begins with a public records request. Our guide outlines best practices for drafting well-defined requests for public information.

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Questions? Contact the Goldwater Institute.

If you have any questions regarding this guide or your rights to public information, please contact the Goldwater Institute at to determine if the Institute can help you access information necessary to hold your government accountable.

Goldwater Institute