“Public records” defined
(a) “Public record” or “public records” shall mean all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, photographs,
films, sound recordings, magnetic or other tapes, electronic dataprocessing
records, artifacts, or other
documentary material, regardless of physical form or characteristics, made or received pursuant to law or
ordinance in connection with the transaction of public business by any agency of North Carolina government
or its subdivisions. Agency of North Carolina government or its subdivisions shall mean and include every
public office, public officer or official (State or local, elected or appointed), institution, board, commission,
bureau, council, department, authority or other unit of government of the State or of any county, unit, special
district or other political subdivision of government.
(b) The public records and public information compiled by the agencies of North Carolina government or its
subdivisions are the property of the people. Therefore, it is the policy of this State that the people may obtain
copies of their public records and public information free or at minimal cost unless otherwise specifically
provided by law. As used herein, “minimal cost” shall mean the actual cost of reproducing the public record
or public information.