Capital and Infrastructure Improvements:

H. Public Records Act & Certified Payroll

California Public Records Act​ (PRA)

Description: The California Public Records Act promotes the public’s right of access to government records. All records maintained by the California State University are potentially subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act, unless they fall into one or more of the authorized narrow exemptions.

Trustees' Response to PRA Request: The Trustees must respond to a Public Records Act request within 10 calendar days after receipt. A Public Records Act request must be in writing and should formally reference the Act, although a less formal letter that does not reference the Act may be considered a Public Records Act request. Consult with the CSU Office of General Counsel if you have any questions. 

The records need not be provided within the initial 10-day response period, but instead, provide a written response identifying a reasonable time when records will be available for inspection or copying. If the request for records is clearly laid-out, and records are readily available, you need not contact the requester to clarify the request. 

However, if the request is unclear, make every attempt to clarify the request by phone call to the requester if necessary. The Trustees have no obligation to do research or compile information or data for requester. Files that contain prequalification applications, certified payroll and legal correspondence are considered confidential and are not public records. These items are not for public viewing. 

Payment for Cost of Duplication: Information retrieved per a request under this law cannot be released until the Trustees have received payment for the cost of duplication. Per coded memo AD 06-02, the duplication costs for photocopies up to 8.5” x 14” is 20 cents per page. The actual cost of duplication of records produced in other formats, like blueprints, must be charged on a case-by-case, direct-cost basis. Whenever you receive Public Records Act requests, notify the CSU Office of General Counsel, as they must coordinate them throughout the system. 

Unions and Trade Organizations: Unions and various trade associations may contact the Construction Administrator for information, citing the California Public Records Act. Most requests are for copies of information from the project files. They may offer to cover duplication costs. 

Trustees’ Policy: The Trustees’ project records are generally open to inspection at all times during Trustees’ normal business hours. There is no charge for inspection of records. 

Bonding Companies: Bonding companies have a financial risk in the success of the project. They often send their standard questionnaire at mid-contract and periodically thereafter until completion. Though these requests do not typically cite the Public Records Act, the Construction Administrator should respond in a timely manner to the questionnaire, especially if there are concerns with the schedule, so that the bonding company is informed and in a position to push the contractor to a successful completion. 

List stop notices so they may use their influence to bring things current. Do not complete or sign any questionnaire that includes language that exonerates the bond. The performance bond is in force through the 10-year latent-defects period, and it exists to guarantee faithful performance of the contact. If a question arises about the effect of any statement on a surety’s questionnaire, contact your attorney in the Office of General Counsel for clarification, so as not to lose protection (SUAM Section 9816). 

When a request from a bonding company comes in, copy the return envelope and attach it to a copy of the completed request for filing in the contract file for future reference in case you need to contact the bonding company, as this is usually a local address and contact name. Exercise caution when completing these questionnaires.

Many records of the California State University are available for public inspection under the California Public Records Act (Government Code Section 6250 et seq.).

Requests for inspection or copying of public records:

  • Must be specific and focused. Where a request is not specific or focused, the CSU will assist in identifying available records.
  • May not interfere with the business operations of the university, including any and all university policies. Records that are reasonably required by CSU personnel in the performance of their duties may not be available for inspection at certain times.
  • Certain records are exempt from public disclosure under the California Public Records Act (e.g., Government Code Section 6254 et seq.). The CSU may redact purely personal and private information from public records. The Public Records Act also does not require the CSU to create documents that do not already exist.​

Upon receipt of a Public Records Act request, the CSU will conduct a reasonable search for the requested records. The records may be made available for inspection during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Records may not be destroyed, altered or removed from the CSU. The CSU may have university personnel present during an inspection to safeguard the records.

Requests for public records maintained at the Office of the Chancellor may be directed to: [email protected]. Requests for campus documents should be sent to the appropriate campus.​




Certified Payroll Records

Description: California Labor Code Section 1776 requires that "each contractor and subcontractor shall keep accurate payroll records, showing the name, address, Social Security number, work classification, straight time and overtime hours worked each day and week, and the actual per diem wages paid to each journeyman, apprentice, worker or other employee employed by him or her in connection with the public work. Each payroll record shall contain or be verified by a written declaration that it is made under penalty of perjury, stating both of the following:

1. The information contained in the payroll record is true and correct.

2. The employer has complied with the requirements of Sections 1771, 1811 and 1815 for any work performed by his or her employees on the public works project." 

Contract General Conditions, under Prevailing Wage, require the Contractor "to submit to the Trustees a minimum of the first two weeks' certified payroll and the Hourly Labor Rate Worksheet for its workers and all subcontractors." Having certified payroll records, along with the Hourly Labor Rate Worksheet, will allow verification of payment of prevailing wage rates and will allow a check on wage rates submitted for change order work. 

Public Requests for Copies of Certified Payroll: Generally, the Contractor receives requests for copies of certified payroll from an employee, the Department of Industrial Relations (DLSE or DAS) or the public (this would include labor unions, joint labor-management committees, etc.). 

Labor Code Section 1776 requires that copies of certified payroll records be available for inspection, or if copies are requested, that the Contractor or subcontractor file a certified copy of the records requested with the requesting party within 10 days after receipt of the written request. 

Note: Labor Code Section 1776 requires redaction of records for various entities and each entity may require different information to be redacted. The Construction Administrator must take heed and provide only the appropriate information to the requesting party; refer to Labor Code Sections 1776 (e) and (f) for more specific information. 

Penalty for Contractor or Subcontractor Who Fails to Comply Within 10 Days: In the event that the Contractor or subcontractor fails to comply within the 10-day period subsequent to receipt of a written notice requesting the records enumerated in Labor Code Section 1776 (a), s/he shall, as a penalty to the state or political subdivision on whose behalf the contract is made or awarded, forfeit one hundred dollars ($100) for each calendar day or portion thereof for each worker, until strict compliance is effectuated. Upon the request of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, these penalties shall be withheld from progress payments then due. A contractor is not subject to penalty assessment pursuant to this section due to the failure of a subcontractor to comply with this section.

Trustees' Receipt of a Request for Copies of Certified Payroll: The Construction Administrator shall not hold these requests, but shall send them directly to the Contractor for a timely response. Although the CSU's standard letter tells the Contractor to send the certified payroll to the requester, the state statutes do not require the Contractor to do this. 

The Contractor may send the certified payroll to the Construction Administrator, who shall then delete names, addresses and Social Security numbers, as appropriate, and send the payrolls to the requester. The CSU must receive payment for these documents prior to release of documents. Charges are $1.00 for the first page and 25 cents per page thereafter, plus a $10.00 handling charge. Refer to California Code of Regulations, Section 16402 - Cost. 

CSU Labor Compliance Program: In 2003, the Trustees implemented a labor compliance program for projects funded from either the Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2002 or 2004 (Proposition 47 or Proposition 55), for contract starts on or after April 1, 2003, or from state-issued bonds such as general obligation or lease revenue bonds (systemwide revenue bonds are not considered state-issued bonds), for contract starts on or after August 1, 2010. 

Effective January 1, 2016, the Trustees will not monitor labor compliance for any new projects. The Department of Industrial Relations will administer labor compliance for all CSU projects.