The City of Riverside Opens the Online Door for Public Records Access


“There is not a crime, there is not a dodge, there is not a trick, there is not a swindle, there is not a vice which does not live by secrecy.”

 - Joseph Pulitzer

Transparency in government is a key element of building and maintaining the public’s trust and confidence. One Southern California city is leading by example. As first reported by, the City of Riverside recently went live with “Engage Riverside,” a website boasting more than 3 million pages of public records available online. While many local government agencies comply with the Fair Political Practices Commission’s regulations requiring online posting of certain disclosure forms, Riverside chose to go above and beyond. This new online portal offers immediate online access to 815,000 public records, including budget and finance documents, Council and board meetings and property maps. The site also seeks ideas from the community, offers a fraud hotline and provides metrics to measure department goals. “From the city budget to the City Manager’s employment agreement, documents that track how city government works …” are now available at the click of a mouse.

This effort by the City not only benefits local citizens, but also City staff itself by saving them time and money in responding to future requests submitted under the California Public Records Act.

Check out the site for yourself at

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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