8-3: Inspection of Public Records – Policy

Policy Overview

This policy provides guidelines for Santa Fe Community College (SFCC or College) to make available public records for inspection by the public in compliance with the Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA).

Scope and Applicability

This policy covers all requests for inspection of public records. This policy pertains to all public records held by the College and is subject to the process set forth in this policy, in related procedures, and state law. This policy applies to all employees.

Policy Statement

Citizens in a democracy have a right to have access to public records. This right is recognized by the New Mexico Legislature through the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act, NMSA 1978, §§ 14-2-1 et seq. SFCC is committed to adhering to all of the IPRA requirements.


  1. IPRA is the acronym for the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act (NMSA 1978, §§ 14-2-1 et seq.)
  2. Public Records means all documents and records, regardless of physical form, that are used, created, received, maintained or held by or on behalf of any public body and relate to public business, whether or not the records are required by law to be created or maintained. NMSA 1978 41-2-6(F).
  3. Records Custodian at SFCC is the Executive Director of Marketing and Public Relations or designee. The Records Custodian responds to all requests to inspect public records.

Policy Process

  1. All requests to inspect the College’s public records should:
    1. Contain the name, address, and telephone number of the person making the request.
    2. Describe the records requested in sufficient detail to enable the Records Custodian to identify and locate them.
    3. Be submitted in person, via U.S. mail, email or facsimile to:
      Records CustodianExecutive Director of Marketing and Public Relations
      Santa Fe Community College
      6401 Richards Avenue, Santa Fe, NM 87508Email:  |  Fax: 505-428-1450
  2. Employees who receive a request to inspect public records must immediately forward the request to the Records Custodian.
  3. Employees are required to comply with a request as required by law from the Records Custodian or designee.
  4. The right of public inspection is limited to existing public records, and the College is not required to create a public record that does not already exist.
  5. Exceptions to the right to inspect public records that are specifically listed in IPRA include, but are not limited to:
    1. Medical records,
    2. Letters of reference concerning employment, licensing or permits,
    3. Matters of opinion in personnel or student files,
    4. Confidential law enforcement records,
    5. Documents covered by the Confidential Materials Act,
    6. Trade secrets,
    7. Attorney-client privileged information, and
    8. Records that are considered non-public as otherwise provided by law and/or as defined by IPRA, such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  6. The Records Custodian will review the requested documents to determine whether they are public records eligible for release and, if so, will provide the appropriate documents to the requestor in the format (digital or print) of the request as set forth in IPRA.
  7. As a matter of courtesy when possible, the Records Custodian will inform an employee whose records are the subject of an IPRA request.
  8. SFCC may charge a reasonable fee for copies of public records.
  9. The Records Custodian may request that applicable fees for copying public records be paid in advance and will provide a receipt upon request.
  10. The Records Custodian must permit inspection immediately or as soon as practicable, but no later than the timeframe specified by law.
  11. If inspection is not possible within the legally specified timeframe, the requestor will receive a response explaining when the records will be available for inspection or when the College will respond to the request.
  12. If any of the records sought are not available for public inspection, the Records Custodian will respond within the timeframe specified by law and explain the reason inspection has been denied.

Statement of Accountability and Responsibility

The President, through the Chief Communications Officer/Executive Director of Marketing and Public Relations and the Marketing and Public Relations Department, shall be responsible for enforcing policies and procedures relating to public records requests. The Marketing and Public Relations Department shall work with the different departments and offices to comply with this policy and to develop procedures that will enforce this policy regarding awareness, prevention and remediation.


Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99)
New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act, NMSA 1978, Chapter 14, Article 2


SFCC Governing Board approved: 2/26/09
Revised and Governing Board approved: 12/2/15
Revised and Governing Board approved: 5/26/2021