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Florida Contractors Providing Government Services Bound By Public Records Act

Miami Dade County (Florida) created contractor, Dade Aviation Consultants (DAC), appealed a court order to produce records to Knight Ridder, Inc. The records pertained to a lobbyist group hired to assist their renovation of Miami International Airport. The order for production was affirmed.

The DAC consisted of eight private firms created "for the purpose of performing... services necessary to assure orderly airport development." It was recognized that "when DAC performs services...with the Aviation Department, DAC acts on behalf of the County." The press requested various records regarding the project in 1998 pursuant to the State's Public Records Act (Act). The DAC provided selected records but excluded any regarding the lobbyist group claiming that the group was privately retained and hence exempt from the Act's provisions. The press motioned to compel the sought production and the court ordered the DAC's compliance.

On appeal, the Third District Court of Appeal of Florida held that "when a private entity undertakes to provide a service otherwise provided by the government, the entity is bound by the Act, as the government would be." See: Bade Aviation Consultants v. Knight Ridder. Inc.. 800 So.2d 302, (Fla. App. 2001).

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Related legal case

Bade Aviation Consultants v. Knight Ridder. Inc.