Freedom of Information Act Requests
A. Terms used in these guidelines shall have the same meaning as in the Freedom of Information Act.
B. “FOIA” means the Freedom of Information Act.
C. “Freedom of Information Officer” means the Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the Peoria Park District, or designee.
D. “Office” means the Peoria Park District Administrative Office.
E. “Requester” means a person who submits a request for public records in accordance with these guidelines.
II. PROCEDURES FOR REQUESTING PUBLIC RECORDS
A. Person(s) to Whom Requests are Submitted
1) Requests for public records shall be submitted to the Freedom of Information Officer(s). Requests shall be submitted to the following address:
Freedom of Information Officer
ATTENTION: FOIA REQUEST
Secretary, Board of Trustees
Peoria Park District
1125 W Lake Ave
Peoria, Illinois 61614
Requests may also be submitted through this online form.
B. Form and Content of Requests
1) Requests must be made in accordance with the FOIA. Requests for inspection or copies of public records must be made in writing and directed to the Peoria Park District. Written requests may be submitted to the Peoria Park District via personal delivery, mail, telefax, or other means available to the Peoria Park District. All requests for inspection or copying received by the Park District shall immediately be forwarded to the FOI Officer, or designee.
2) The requester shall provide the following information in a request for public records:
a) The requester’s full name, address and telephone number.
b) A description of the public records requested, being as specific as possible.
c) Whether the request is for inspection of public records, copies of public records, or both.
III. PROCEDURES FOR OFFICE RESPONSE TO REQUESTS FOR PUBLIC RECORDS
A. Length of Time for Office Response (For Requests Not Made for a Commercial Purpose)
1) The Office shall respond to a written request for public records within five (5) business days after the receipt of such request.
2) The Office may give notice of an extension of time to respond which does not exceed an additional five (5) business days. Such an extension is allowable if written notice is provided within the original five (5) business days time limit for the reasons provided in Section 3 (e) of the FOIA. Such notice of extension shall state the reasons why the extension is necessary and the date by which the records will be made available or denial will be forthcoming.
B. Types of Office Response (For Requests Not Made for a Commercial Purpose)
1) The Office shall respond to a request for public records in one of three ways:
a) Approve the request in its entirety.
b) Deny the request in its entirety.
c) Approve the request in part and deny in part.
2) Upon approval of a request for public records, the Office may either make available the materials, give notice that the material shall be made available upon payment of allowable costs, or give notice of the time and place for inspection of records.
3) A denial of a request for public records shall be made in writing. It shall state the reasons for the denial, including a detailed factual basis for the application of any exemption claimed, in accordance with either Section 7 or 7.5 of the FOIA and the names and titles of individuals responsible for the denial. Each notice of denial shall inform the requester of the requester’s right to review by the Public Access Counselor, Office of the Attorney General, 500 S. 2nd Street, Springfield IL 62706, (877) 299-3642. Each notice of denial shall also inform the requestor of the right to a judicial review of the denial.
4) Categorical requests creating an undue burden upon the Office shall be denied only after extending to the requester an opportunity to confer in an attempt to reduce the request to manageable proportions in accordance with Section 3 (g) of the FOIA.
5) Failure to respond to a written request within five (5) business days will be considered by the requester a denial of the request.
C. Requests for Commercial Purposes shall be processed in accordance with Section 3.1 of the FOIA.
IV. PROCEDURES FOR PROVIDING PUBLIC RECORDS TO REQUESTERS
A. Inspection of Public Records
1) Unless otherwise agreed, the inspection of public records shall take place at the office of the Freedom of Information Officer during normal working hours.
2) Documents which the requester wishes to have copied shall be segregated during the course of the inspection. Generally, all copying shall be done by Office employees, under the direction of the FOIA Officer.
3) An employee of the Office may be present throughout the inspection. A requester may be prohibited from bringing bags, briefcases, or other containers into the inspection room.
B. Copying of Public Records
1) No fees shall be charged for the first 50 pages of black and white, letter or legal sized copies requested by a requester. The fee for black and white, letter or legal sized copies shall not exceed 15 cents per page.
2) Charges for copies of public records shall be assessed in accordance with the “Fee Schedule for Duplication of Public Records” (Appendix G).
3) Charges may be waived or reduced in any case where the Freedom of Information Officer determines that the waiver serves the public interest.
4) When a person requests a copy of a record maintained in an electronic format, the Peoria Park District will furnish it in the electronic format specified by the requester, if feasible. If it is not feasible to furnish the public records in the specified format, the Peoria Park District shall furnish it in the format in which it is maintained by the Park District or in a paper format, at the option of the requester.
C. General Materials Available to the Public
1) The Freedom of Information Officer shall make available to the public, at no charge, the following materials:
a) A brief description of the organizational structure and budget of the Peoria Park District. (Appendix H)
b) A list of types and categories of public records maintained by the Peoria Park District. (Appendix J)
c) A copy of these Guidelines.
V. PROCEDURES FOR APPEAL OF A DENIAL
A. Appeal of a Denial
1) A requester whose request has been denied by the FOIA Officer may request a review of the denial by the Public Access Counselor. The request for
review shall be made in writing and sent to: Public Access Counselor, Office of the Attorney General, 500 S. 2nd Street, Springfield IL 62706, Hotline Telephone: (877) 299-3642.
2) A person whose request to inspect or copy a public record is denied may, within 60 days, file a written request for a review with the PAC.
3) Any person denied access to inspect or copy any public record by a public body has the right to a judicial review of the denial, pursuant to Section 11 of the FOIA.