Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
Sandwich Park District FOIA Officers: Starr Frederick & Roberta Troeger
The Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) establishes the minimum rights of the public to inspect an enormously wide range of documents (5 ILCS 140, et seq.) "Public records" subject to disclosure are all records in the custody or possession of a public body. The Act does not require that a District create records to answer the requests for information. The District must merely produce the records that it possesses.
No fees may be charged for the first 50 pages of black and white letter or legal size copies. Thereafter, the fee for such formatted material shall not exceed 15 cents per page. Fees for copies in color or in other formats cannot exceed the actual costs of making the copies. Public Act 96-542 further states that when a person requests a copy of a record maintained in an electronic format, the public body shall furnish it in the electronic format specified by the requester, if feasible. A public body may charge the requestor for the active cost of purchasing the recording medium, whether disc, diskette, tape or other medium.
FOIA Request-Processing Time:
Once we have received your request, an agency must respond to a request by providing the record or issuing a letter of denial within seven (7) days. A failure to respond is considered a denial of the request. The District may extend the time by not more than seven (7) additional working days if it can justify the extension under one of the reasons enumerated in the Act.
The Act currently lists a substantial number of exemptions. A district denying a records request must specify which exemption listed in the Freedom of Information Act that the public body asserts authorizes the basis for denial "and "specific reasons for the denial, including a detailed factual basis and a citation to supporting legal authority". The District must also alert a Public Access Counselor (a position established in the office of the Illinois Attorney General by Public Act 96-542) that the request will be denied. The Public Access Counselor may or may not determine that further action is warranted before the request is denied. If the request is denied, a requester who thinks that the denial constitutes a violation of the Freedom of Information Act may ask the Public Access Counselor to review the situation. At this time, the Public Access Counselor may determine that the allegation of the violation is unfounded or that further inquiry is warranted. The following is a list of exemptions that might be relevant to request made to the District:
How to File A FOIA Request:
Your request must be in writing and include the following information:
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