This section of the Manual contains the procedures for most of the records and reports maintained and utilized by the office of the Resident Engineer.
Any proposed major deviation from the policies and procedures outlined in this section of the Manual should be discussed with the Division Engineer, Area Construction Engineer, or State Construction Engineer before being implemented.
All documentation discussed in this section of the manual including source documentation used to support payments and materials certification can be captured and/or stored in an electronic format as a PDF or Share Point Document. Original hardcopy documents can be destroyed upon verification that a legible electronic version exists. The rules governing public records discussed in this manual apply to the electronic version of documents as well. In addition, electronic records follow the same retention and disposition schedule as the paper documents unless a retention and disposition schedule has been established specifically for the electronic version of a document.
All project records except the
, which include the
Inspector’s Daily Reports
and the Weekly Project Report, are public records. Project Diaries become public records once the final estimate has been paid, therefore, Project Diaries shall not be provided to the contractor or general public until the final estimate has been processed by the
. Requests to review the Project Diaries shall be made in writing to the State Construction Engineer. As public records, the project records can be viewed by anyone during normal work hours. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has the right to view any project records pertaining to a specific federally-funded project. Exceptions to the review policy for Project Diaries, including Inspector’s Daily Reports, can be made by the State Construction Engineer.
Anyone desiring to view public project records must make such request in writing and outline the specific records they wish to view. They should not be allowed access to the files. Records shall not be viewed except in the presence of a Department representative to ensure nothing is added to and/or removed from the records.
Public Records Act further provides that the person having custody of public records shall furnish any person certified copies of public records upon payment of prescribed fees. If, in the discretion of the Department, the records requested are found to be a large amount, to the extent copying cannot be readily accomplished, the Department may release the documents to a bonded copying service for copying. Before release to any such service, permission should be obtained from the State Construction Engineer. The requestor is responsible for making arrangements with such a copying service, and payment for any copies.
As an exception to the
Public Records Act, any confidential communications between legal counsel and the Department are not considered to be public records. The State Construction Engineer should be consulted if there is any question regarding making records available to the public.
Normally, a document submitted by a contractor to the Department becomes a public record under
North Carolina General Statutes (N.C.G.S.) 132
. However, N.C.G.S. 132-1.2 excludes certain information that is considered to be
. N.C.G.S. 132-1.2 (1) lists the
conditions that must be satisfied for information to be deemed confidential, and therefore not subject to disclosure pursuant to a public records request.
The four conditions are as follows.
- Constitutes a "trade secret" as defined in
G.S. 66 152(3).
- Is the property of a private "person" as defined in G.S. 66 152(2).
- Is disclosed or furnished to the public agency in connection with the owner's performance of a public contract or in connection with a bid, application, proposal, industrial development project, or in compliance with laws, regulations, rules, or ordinances of the United States, the State, or political subdivisions of the State.
- Is designated or indicated as "confidential" or as a "trade secret" at the time of its initial disclosure to the public agency.
An example of documentation that could be considered confidential information is the contractor’s bid documents to support a claim for non-recovered fixed cost as provided in Standard Specification
conditions as set forth under N.C.G.S. 132-1.2(1) have been met, then the Department would not disclose this information pursuant to a public records request.