Data Requests

Our responsibility to provide information access

The Metropolitan Council collects and maintains a lot of information in the course of our work. This information is known as government data and it comes in many forms, such as paper or electronic documents, communications, maps, videos, and information stored in databases.

Meeting the information needs of the public and of individuals who are the subjects of data we hold is one of the Met Council’s most important functions as a regional government agency. Consistent with the requirements of the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, we will respond to data requests in a timely, cost-effective, and complete manner.

Request data

Members of the public and individuals who are the subjects of data we hold have the right to access government data by making a data request.


If you have accessibility issues submitting a request using this form, please contact our Data Practices Office at [email protected] or 651-602-1000.

Learn more about data requests and your rights

Data requests must be submitted to the Metropolitan Council through our online data request portal. You do not need to identify yourself to submit a public data request, but we need an email address to contact you if we have questions or to share our response with you. This email address can be anonymous but must be valid.

The portal collects information we need to process your data request, including:

  1. Name. If you are requesting private data about yourself, you will need to identify yourself. Providing your name is optional for public data requests but could be helpful if we need to follow up with questions and clarifications.
  2. Contact information. The request portal asks for an email address, phone number, and business organization, if applicable. An email address is required and can be anonymous and not associated with your name or other identifying information. Other contact information is optional but may help us respond to your request.
  3. For public data requests, whether you are a member of the media, representing a labor organization, requesting data related to an injury or property damage claim, making a legislative data request, or submitting your request on behalf of an academic or research institution. This information helps us better understand your request and work with the appropriate Metropolitan Council contacts.
  4. Whether you want to receive your data by viewing it onsite at the Metropolitan Council offices or by getting copies sent to you. Viewing data onsite at our offices — called “inspecting the data” in the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act — is free. This information is required for us to respond to your request. If you choose to receive copies, you may need to pay to receive them. Our copy costs policy has more information.
  5. The date range of your request, if applicable. Keep in mind that longer date ranges will result in longer response times and could incur costs to you.
  6. A written description of your request. Describe your request as clearly as you can. Broad or vague requests could result in large amounts of responsive data that take longer to prepare and could result in costs to you. This information is required for us to respond to your request.
  7. Proof of your identity if you are requesting private data about yourself. We require proof of your identity before we can respond to your request for private data about yourself because we cannot disclose private data to unauthorized individuals. You can submit your proof of identity through the secure online portal. If you do not provide proof that you are the data subject, we cannot respond to your request.

If you have accessibility issues submitting a request using this form, please contact our Data Practices Office at [email protected] or 651-602-1000.

After you submit your data request using our online request portal, you will receive an email confirming that your request was submitted and is entered into our data request work tracking system.

Our Data Practices Office will communicate with you using the email included in your request. In addition to responses to your data request, our communications with you may also include requests for clarification, cost estimates for copies, and time estimates based on the size and scope of your data request and our existing workload.

We will respond to requests from data subjects immediately if we can, or within 10 business days. We will respond to all other data requests within a reasonable time. The size, scope, and type of data you request can impact the time it takes us to reasonably respond. If it will take some time to respond to your request, we will let you know and will tell you when you will be able to access or receive the data.

We will make the data available for inspection or provide copies upon request. Depending on your preferences and our capabilities, we will schedule a time for you to view data in our offices; share the data as described in our response email; or mail the data to you. Because the Metropolitan Council is required by law to preserve public records and documents, a Metropolitan Council employee may be with you when you inspect the data. If you want copies, an employee will make copies. We may charge you if the copies result in costs under our copy costs procedure.

We will inform you if we cannot share data with you. If the Metropolitan Council has data that you request but cannot share some or all the data with you due to its classification under the Data Practices Act or another law, we will tell you why you cannot see or have copies of data. The Metropolitan Council will tell you the specific statutory section, temporary data classification, or federal law that classifies the data as not public.

We will provide a cost estimate if your request for copies will incur charges. If you have requested copies and your request is likely to result in copy costs, we will provide you with an estimate before we begin the work. Our copy costs procedure contains information about costs of data requests. If you do not wish to pay the estimated costs, you can work with our Data Practices Office to find ways to reduce the costs.

We do not need to respond to another request for the same data for six months. After you have seen your private data and been informed of its meaning, the Metropolitan Council is not required to disclose that data for six months, unless there is a dispute over the data or if additional data about you have been collected or created.

We will consider your data request closed if you do not respond when we have questions or tell you that your request is complete. If you do not respond within 30 business days when we ask for clarification about your data request, we will consider your request closed. If you do not arrange to inspect the data or pay for copies within 30 business days when we tell you that your data request is complete, we will consider your request closed.

To promote public access and transparency, the Metropolitan Council does not assess costs for data requests that do not take significant time to complete.

You may view data that responds to your data request at Metropolitan Council offices for free. Under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act, you have the right to view data that responds to your data request — known as “inspecting the data” — free of charge. You may view data by scheduling an appointment with Data Practices Office staff at our offices during regular business hours.

We do not charge for requests that take less than four hours of staff time to complete. For purposes of this copy costs procedure, we will consider single requests divided into multiple requests to avoid fees as a single request.

We charge actual costs for responding to other data requests. We will provide data to you via secure electronic transfer protocol, email attachment, or other electronic means. Costs include:

  • Cost of employee time to search for data, retrieve data, and make, compile, and electronically transmit copies of $49.97 per hour, which is the hourly salary and benefits in 2023 of the lowest paid position that can do this work.
  • Cost of employee time to make, compile, and electronically transmit copies for people requesting public or private data about themselves. For these requests, costs will not include time to search for and retrieve the data.
  • Postage and materials, including media for receiving hard copies such as paper or a flash drive.
  • Costs associated with making copies from computerized data, such as writing or modifying a computer program to format data.
  • The actual cost we must pay an outside vendor for the copies if your request is for copies of data that we cannot reproduce internally.

Refer to our Copy Costs Procedure for more information. The Metropolitan Council cannot and does not charge for the time it spends separating public data from data that are not public.

We provide an estimate of the costs before beginning the work for large requests. Refer to our Copy Costs Procedure for more information. We will consult with you if you want to discuss alternatives that may reduce the costs of your request, such as narrowing the scope or timeframe of your data request.

We charge the full costs of providing data in response to summary data requests. Consistent with the Data Practices Act, we will prepare summary data upon written request if you pay the cost of preparing the summary data. Refer to our Copy Costs Procedure for more information.

Discretionary copy cost waivers. The Metropolitan Council may waive all or some of the costs associated with certain data requests. Please refer to our Copy Costs Procedure for more information about discretionary waivers.

You do not need to identify yourself if you are submitting a request for public data. Our portal requires an email address so we can communicate with you, clarify any issues, and share the data that responds to your data request. You can use an anonymous email address that does not include your name or otherwise identify you.

You do not need to tell us why you are asking for public data. However, we may need to ask you to provide more detail to clarify your data request so that we can identify data you want to access. If your request is vague or unusually broad, we may contact you about options to help us understand what data you want and respond in a timely manner.

Creating new data or providing data in different formats. The Minnesota Government Data Practices Act does not require us to collect data we do not have, or to create data in response to your data request. The Data Practices Act also does not require us to give you data in the format you want if the data do not already exist in that format. Refer to our Data Access Procedures for Members of the Public for more information. Finally, the Data Practices Act does not require us to answer questions that are not requests for data.

Requests to create summary data. Summary data are statistical records and reports that summarize private or confidential data on individuals but do not contain information that uniquely identifies individuals. Summary data are public data. We will prepare summary data upon request if your request is submitted via the data request portal on this page, and if you pay the cost of preparing the summary data.

Notice when we collect private or confidential data from you. If the Metropolitan Council asks you to provide private or confidential data about yourself, we must give you a notice. This notice is called a private data collection notice or a Tennessen warning. The notice will tell you:

  1. Why we are asking for private or confidential data about you.
  2. How we will use the data.
  3. If you are required by law to provide the data, or if you can refuse to provide the data.
  4. Any known consequences of either providing the data or refusing to provide the data.
  5. The identities of other entities or individuals authorized by law to access or use the data.

After the Metropolitan Council gives you a private data collection notice, we usually can only use and release data about you to others as described in the notice unless you give your written consent for a new use or release. Refer to our Data Access Procedures for Data Subjects for more information.

Consent to share your private data. The Metropolitan Council will ask for your written permission if we need to use or release private data that we collected from you in ways other than we described in the private data collection notice. This permission is called informed consent. If we ask for your informed consent, we must explain why we need to use or share data about you in the new way, and we must explain whether there are any consequences of giving your informed consent to the new use. There are a few uncommon exceptions when we do not need to ask you for consent to use or release your private data in a new way. The Data Practices Act lists these exceptions.

We also need your written permission if you want the Metropolitan Council to release private data about you to another person, such as to your legal representative or another organization.

Protecting your private data. The Minnesota Government Data Practices Act requires us to protect your data. We have established appropriate safeguards to ensure that your data are safe. In the unfortunate even that we determine a security breach has occurred and an unauthorized person has gained access to your private data, we will notify you as required by law.

Inaccurate or incomplete data about you. You have the right to challenge the accuracy and/or completeness of public and private data about you. You also have the right to appeal the Metropolitan Council’s decision in response to your challenge. Contact the individuals listed in the data practices contacts section to make a challenge or ask questions. The Data Practices Act outlines the procedures for making a data challenge, and for how we respond to a data challenge, in Minnesota Statutes, section 13.04, subdivision 4.

Most government data are classified as public data and are available to anyone upon request. However, some types of government data are not available in response to data requests.

Data that are classified by a state or federal law as private or nonpublic are available only to the individuals who are the subjects of the data or others authorized by law to see it. We cannot provide these types of data in response to a public data request. Data that are classified as confidential or protected nonpublic are not available to the public or the data subjects. We cannot provide confidential or protected nonpublic data in response to a data request.

The Minnesota Government Data Practices Act requires us to keep an inventory of the types of private or confidential data on individuals that we maintain. Access the Metropolitan Council’s Inventory of Private and Confidential Data on Individuals (PDF).

Common types of nonpublic or protected nonpublic data not on individuals that we maintain include:

  • Security information
  • Internal audit data during the audit process
  • Submitted responses to requests for proposals during the evaluation process
  • Submitted bid responses to a request for bid before bids are opened
  • Trade secret data

Data practices requests and data questions. To make a valid data request, you must direct all data requests to the Data Practices Office using the data request portal. If you have general data practices questions or concerns, you can contact our Data Practices Office by email at [email protected] or by phone at 651-602-1000.

Data practices designee. The head of data practices, Kathryn Olson, is the Metropolitan Council’s data practices designee. Kathryn and the Data Practices Office are responsible for receiving and responding to data requests. They also answer questions about data practices at the Met Council.

Data practices compliance official. If you have worked with the Data Practices Office but still have problems accessing data, you can contact the data practices compliance official. The data practices compliance official is the designated Council employee to whom you may direct problems and concerns related to obtaining access to Council data. The data practices compliance official is Georges Gonzalez, deputy regional administrator and chief financial officer. You can reach the data practices compliance official at [email protected].

Responsible authority. The regional administrator is the Metropolitan Council’s designated responsible authority and is responsible for the collection, use, and dissemination of data by the Met Council. You can reach the regional administrator at [email protected].

Read our full data access procedures


Data access for members of the public (PDF)
Members of the public have the right to review, free of charge, all public data that we hold. They also have the right to get copies of public data, although we may charge for copies.

Data access for data subjects (PDF)
When we maintain data about you or your minor child, you have the right to look at or request copies of most data about you. This is known as a data subject request.

Copy costs policy and procedure (PDF)
We do not assess fees for requests that take us less than four hours to complete. If your request incurs fees, we provide an estimate first and require payment before providing the copies to you.


If you have questions or if you have problems submitting your data request, contact our Data Practices Office.
[email protected]