​​Public Records Act & Certified Payroll

California Public Records Act


The California Public Records Act promotes public’s right of access to government records. All records maintained by the California State University are potentially subject to disclosure under the California 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 ten 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 University Counsel if you have any questions. The records need not be provided within the initial ten-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 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 your University 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 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 ten-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 (Gov. 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 (See e.g., Gov. Code section 6254 et seq.). CSU may redact purely personal and private information from public records. The Public Records Act also does not require CSU to create documents that do not already exist.

Upon receipt of a Public Records Act request, 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 CSU. 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 respective campus.


  • SUAM Sections 9816 ​(Bonding Co Inquiries), 9825​ (Requests for Documents)
  • CM Procedures May 2019, Section XIX.
  • California Public Records Act, Gov. 6250 et seq.

Forms & Templates:

  • None

​Certified Payroll Records

Labor Code section 1776 requires:  "Each contactor 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, requires 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 

  1. an employee,  
  2. the Dept. of Industrial Relations (DLSE or DAS), or  
  3. the public (this would include labor unions, joint labor-management committees, etc.). Labor Code (LC) 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 ten days after receipt of the written request. 

NOTE:  LC section 1776 requires redaction of records for various entities, and each entity may require different information to be redacted. Construction Administrator must take heed and provide only the appropriate information to the requesting party; refer to LC sections 1776 (e) and (f) for more specific information. 

Penalty for Contractor or Subcontractor Who Fails to Comply within Ten Days:  In the event that Contractor or subcontractor fails to comply within the ten-day period, subsequent to receipt of a written notice requesting the records enumerated in LC 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 our 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. CSU must receive payment for these documents prior to release of documents. Charges are $1.00 for the first page and $.25 per page thereafter, plus a $10.00 handling charge. Refer to Calif. Code of Regulations, Section 16402, Cost. 

CSU Labor Compliance Program:  The Trustees implemented a labor compliance program in 2003 for projects funded from either: the Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2002 or 2004 (Prop 47 or Prop 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 Aug. 1, 2010.  Effective Jan. 1, 2016, the Trustees will not monitor labor compliance for any new projects. The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) will be administering labor compliance for all CSU projects.


Forms & Templates: