2:250-AP1 Access To and Copying of District Public Records
|School Board||Appoints, or designates the Superintendent to appoint, a Freedom of Information Officer to perform the duties of that office as specified in the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and is responsible for managing the District’s compliance with FOIA.
Determines from time-to-time by Board resolution:
Monitors full compliance with FOIA and Board policy 2:250, Access to District Public Records.
Budgets sufficient resources to enable full compliance with FOIA. Receives the report from the Superintendent during regular meetings concerning each FOIA request and the status of the District’s response. 105 ILCS 5/10-16.
|Freedom of Information Officer||
Manages FOIA Compliance
1. Receives FOIA requests, ensures that the District responds to requests in a timely fashion, and issues responses under FOIA.
2. Develops a list of documents or categories of records that will be immediately disclosed upon request. See 2:250-E2, Immediately Available Public Records.
3. Upon receiving a request for a public record,(a) notes the date the District receives the written request; (b) computes the day on which the period for response will expire and makes a notation of that date on the written request; (c) maintains an electronic or paper copy of a written request, including all documents submitted with the request until the request has been complied with or denied; and (d) creates a file for the retention of the original request, a copy of the response, a record of written communications with the requester, and a copy of other communications.
Identifies other staff members to assist with FOIA compliance and delegates specific responsibilities to them. These individuals may include the information technology specialist and department heads.
Informs and/or trains staff members concerning their respective responsibilities regarding FOIA. This includes explaining the requirement that all FOIA requests must be immediately forwarded to the Freedom of Information Officer including those that are received via email.
Successfully completes the annual training program developed by the Public Access Counselor in the Attorney General’s office. Each newly appointed Freedom of Information Officer must successfully complete the training program within 30 days after assuming the position.
Posting and Availability Requirements
Prominently displays at each administrative office and school, and posts on the District website, if any, the following: (1) a brief description of the District, and (2) the methods for requesting information and District public records, directory information listing the Freedom of Information Officer and where requests for public records should be directed, and any fees. 5 ILCS 140/4. This information must be copied and mailed if requested. Id.
Maintains and makes available for inspection and copying a reasonably current list of all types or categories of records under the District’s control. 5 ILCS 140/5. The following list contains both exempt and nonexempt records:
Fiscal and business management
Students and instruction
Manages and collects the copying fees described above.
Complies with or denies a request for inspection or copying within 5 business days of receiving a records request, unless the time for response is extended. 5 ILCS 140/3. Makes decisions whether to comply or deny the request according to Board policy 2:250, Access to District Public Records. May use forms prepared by the Ill. Public Access Counselor available at: foia.ilattorneygeneral.net/foia_formssampleletters.aspx.
Redacts any and all exempt portion(s) of requested records containing both exempt and non-exempt material and releases the remaining material. 5 ILCS 140/7. Reviewing past responses to FOIA requests will promote uniform treatment of requests for similar records.
Complies with the Personnel Record Review Act.
2. A request for a performance evaluation(s) must be denied. 820 ILCS 40/11.
Extension of Time
Identifies the need to extend the time for a response for any of the reasons stated in 5 ILCS 140/3(e)(i-vii), quoted below:
Performs one of the following actions within 5 business days after receipt of the request:
Unduly Burdensome Requests
Confers with the person making an unduly burdensome request in an attempt to reduce the request to manageable proportions. A request may be unduly burdensome due, for example, to the request’s breadth. Explains to the requester in writing when a request continues to be unduly burdensome specifying the reason why the request is unduly burdensome.
Requests for Commercial Purposes
Handles requests for commercial purposes according to 5 ILCS 140/3.1. Commercial purpose is defined in 5 ILCS 140/2(c-10) as:
Asks the requester to identify if the record is for a commercial purpose. See 2:250-E1, Written Request for District Public Records. It is unlawful for a person to knowingly obtain a public record for a commercial purpose without disclosing that it is for a commercial purpose, if requested to do so by the District. 5 ILCS 140/3.1(c).
Responds to a request for records to be used for a commercial purpose within 21 working days after receipt. The response must be one of the following: (a) provide an estimate of the time required by the District to provide the records and an estimate of the fees, which the requester may be required to pay in full before copying the requested documents, (b) deny the request pursuant to one or more of the exemptions, (c) notify the requester that the request is unduly burdensome and extend an opportunity to attempt to reduce the request to manageable proportions, or (d) provide the records requested.
Complies with a request, unless the records are exempt from disclosure, within a reasonable period considering the size and complexity of the request, and giving priority to records requested for non-commercial purposes.
Collects a fee of $10.00 for each hour spent by personnel in searching for and retrieving the requested record, provided the Board by policy has approved this charge. No fees shall be charged for the first 8 hours spent by personnel in searching for or retrieving a request record.
Collects the fee for the actual cost of retrieving and transporting public records from an off-site storage facility when the public records are maintained by a third-party storage company under contract with the District, provided the Board by policy has approved this charge.
Whenever a fee is collected according to the above two paragraphs, provides the requester with an accounting of all fees, costs, and personnel hours in connection with the request for public records.
Requests from a Recurrent Requester
Identifies and handles requests from a recurrent requester according to 5 ILCS 140/3.2, added by P.A. 97-579. A recurrent requester is:
Within 5 business days after receiving a request from a recurrent requester, complies with 5 ILCS 140/3.2(b), added by P.A. 97-579, by notifying the requester:
Responds within 21 business days after receipt with one of the following: (a) provide an estimate of the time required by the District to provide the records and an estimate of the fees, which the requester is required to pay in full before the District copies the requested documents, (b) deny the request pursuant to one or more of the exemptions, (c) notify the requester that the request is unduly burdensome and extend an opportunity to attempt to reduce the request to manageable proportions, or (d) provide the records requested. 5 ILCS 140/3.2(a), added by P.A. 97-579. Complies with a request from a recurrent requester within a reasonable period considering the size and complexity of the record, unless the records are exempt from disclosure. 5 ILCS 140/3.2(c), added by P.A. 97-579.
Denying a Request
Complies with 5 ILCS 140/9 by:
Retains copies of all notices of denial in a single central office file that is open to the public and indexed according to the type of exemption asserted and, to the extent feasible, according to the types of records requested. 5 ILCS 140/9(b).
Consults with the Board Attorney:
LEGAL REF.: 5 ILCS 140/, Freedom of Information Act.
Approved: January 11, 2012