Manatee Clerk’s office celebrates public records and sunshine laws during Sunshine Week, March 12-18

Your Manatee Clerk & Comptroller is celebrating Sunshine Week, a nationwide event taking place from March 12-18, which promotes transparency in government and raises awareness about the public's right to access information.

Florida has a long-standing history of open access to public records, dating back to 1909 with the Public Records Law. In 1967, Florida enacted the Sunshine Law which establishes the public’s basic right of access to government meetings. As a result, Florida's Public Records and Sunshine Laws are among the strongest in the country, showing the state's commitment to keeping residents informed and engaged.

"As the Clerk of Court and Comptroller in Manatee County, it is my responsibility and privilege to provide our citizens with access to records and resources they need to be active members of the community," said Clerk & Comptroller Angel Colonneso. "Transparency and equal access to public information is a core responsibility of mine, and I take it very seriously. That is why we take this opportunity each year to educate our employees on the laws regarding public records."

During Sunshine Week, Clerk of Court employees take part in an annual training on Government-in-the-Sunshine and Public Records laws, with a focus on how to fulfill a public records request.

While Sunshine Week only occurs once a year, Clerks play a crucial role in maintaining government transparency through accurate recordkeeping and efficient reporting every day.

We encourage the public to visit our Public Access page to learn how to access records online or how to contact our office to request a record.

"As Clerks, we are proud to provide a wide range of services to residents every day, but granting records requests is among our greatest privileges," continued Colonneso. "We are committed to maintaining access to information and upholding government transparency."

Published: March 10, 2023

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