New System Streamlines Public Records Requests Process

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) has launched a new public records request system to improve customer experience and increase efficiency. Adoption of the new system aligns the agency with the public records management systems of other San Francisco City departments. 

NextRequest is an online portal that enables the public to submit requests for agency records and documents and receive updates. It replaces the SFPUC’s previous email-based system, which will be discontinued after October 30. 

“Just as we constantly seek innovative ways to deliver water, power and sewer services, we are always exploring new options to improve and streamline our connections with the public,” said SFPUC General Manager Harlan L. Kelly, Jr. “By using Next Request, we are embracing 21st century technology and reducing barriers between our agency and the public.”

With NextRequest, requesters can route their requests for documents of any size, not just to the SFPUC, but also to other City employees for response. An online dashboard, which is available for the public to view, tracks the progress of requests. 

Other City agencies currently using NextRequest include:

  • Animal Care and Control 
  • Arts Commission 
  • Department of Building Inspection 
  • City Controller 
  • Department of Public Health 
  • Department of Technology 
  • Ethics Commission 
  • Fire Department 
  • Public Library 
  • Public Works 
  • City Treasurer and Tax Collector

Just as the Freedom of Information Act provides the public the right to access records from federal agencies, the California Public Records Act and the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance provides the public the right to access records from California and San Francisco agencies. Specifically, the San Francisco Sunshine Ordinance requires all agencies and boards and commissions created by the City Charter or by Ordinance or Resolution passed by the Board of Supervisors to make City agency records available to the public.

Those who prefer to make a request for public records from the SFPUC via phone can call (628)-246-1372.