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Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Illinois Freedom of Information Act

Frequently Asked Questions

 

The Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is designed to ensure that the public has access to information about their government and its decision-making process. As a public servant, we have a duty to ensure that Illinois residents can obtain information about their government. 


In 2009, Attorney General Lisa Madigan worked with legislators and a diverse group of individuals and organizations to strengthen FOIA and hold government more accountable. Beginning on January 1, 2010, key changes to the Freedom of Information Act and the Open Meetings Act took effect and in turn provide Illinois residents with a more open and accountable government.

 
GENERAL INFORMATION


What is FOIA?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a state statute that provides the public the right to access government documents and records. The premise behind FOIA is that the public has a right to know what the government is doing. The law provides that a person can ask a public body for a copy of its records on a specific subject and the public body must provide those records, unless there is an exemption in the statute that protects those records from disclosure (for example: records containing information concerning trade secrets or personal privacy).  

 
Who is subject to FOIA?

Public bodies are subject to FOIA. The judiciary is not subject to FOIA, but court records and proceedings generally are open to the public.   

 
Who can file a FOIA request?

Anyone. Any person, group, association, corporation, firm, partnership or organization has the right to file a FOIA request to any state or local public body, including any city, township or county office. 

 
Who is the FOIA officer for Hillside School District 93?

Ms. Sarah Johnson-Millon, Business Manager (CSBO)

Contact information: smillon@hillside93.org 708-449-6490, extension 7105

 

Fee:
No copying fees shall be charged for: (1) the first 50 pages of black and white, letter or legal sized copies, or (2) electronic copies other than the actual cost of the recording medium, except if the response is to a voluminous request, as defined in FOIA.

 

RESPONDING TO FOIA REQUESTS

How many days does the public body have to respond to a FOIA request? 

The district will respond to non-commercial requests within five business days after receipt.  The response time to requests for commercial purposes will be within 21 business days after receipt.  In the event access to public records is denied, the requestor may request a review by the Public Access Counselor’s Office of the Illinois Attorney General. 


If additional time is needed, the public body must notify the requestor in writing within 5 business days after the receipt of the request of the statutory reasons for the extension and when the requested information will be produced. 

 

What is a “business day” or “working day”?

A “business day” or “working day” is a regular day of the week (Monday through Friday) when public offices and most businesses are open. Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays are not business days and cannot be counted in the 5 business day time period.


Information on how to submit a FOIA request: