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2009 IL FOIA Amendment

Hugh J. Devlin
Hugh J. Devlin

   
Copy fees capped

● Previously
– “...fees reasonably calculated to reimburse
its actual cost for reproducing...“
– “...shall not exceed the actual cost of
reproduction...“
● New
– 1st 50 pages FREE!
– After 50, < $0.15/page

   
Response Time Shortened

● 7 “business” days => 5 “working” days


● New incentive: Failure to respond w/i 5
days expires the public body's rights to:
– Collect copy fees
– Invoke “unduly burdensome” exemption

   
Public Record
● New concise definition
● Explicitly includes “electronic
communication” (e-mails) “ ...
pertaining to the transaction of public
business ... ”
● Privatization: extended to records of
contractors related to “perform a
governmental function”
● Elaborate extensive exemptions
  maintained  
Personal Information Exemption

● AKA “Invasion of privacy” exemption


● In case of mixed public/personal,
clearly mandates partial fulfillment with
redaction of exempt portions

   
Appeal Process Pre-2009

● Requester => head of public body (e.g.


Mayor)
● civil action => circuit court of county
“Any person ...including:”
– Requester
– County State's Attorney

   
Appeal Process Post-2009
● Eliminates appeal to head of public
body
● Maintains court options
– Court-awarded attorney's fees
“may” => “shall”
– Fines $2500-$5000
● Adds Requester => Public Access
Counselor
● Stops if court action filed

   
Public Access Counselor

● Office w/i Attorney General established


● advice & education with respect o the
interpretation & implementation
– Open Meetings Act
– Freedom of Information Act

   
Public Access Counselor
Responsibilities
● “mandatory” training for FOIA officers
● Advisory & binding opinions
● Dispute resolution
● * Binding review of denials *
● Research on compliance
● Recommend new laws

   
PAC Appeal Process
● Denial letter must include PAC contact info
● Requester has 60 days to appeal to PAC *
● PAC reviews appeal request
● PAC notifies public body w/i 7 days
● Public body has 7 days to respond
● Burden of proof on public body
● PAC may allow up to 21 addl. working days
● AG may
– issues subpoena
– court
 
● PAC opinions posted on   PAC website
Public Body must notify Public
Access Counselor
● Denial due to
– Personal information (privacy) exemption
– Preliminary draft exemption
● PAC may initiate review within 5 days

   
Learn More

● ilga.gov (Illinois General Assembly)


– New: SB189
– Old: Compiled Statutes (5 ILCS 140)