How to Submit a Request:
The Office of the Attorney General recommends the following procedure:
If you would like to obtain information from a public body, you should begin by writing down a list of the information you are seeking. Then prepare a letter to that public body’s office. If you are not sure to whom to address the letter, contact the public body’s main office and request the contact information for the FOIA officer.
Your letter should include your name, your address, the date and a daytime phone number so that the public body can contact you if they have any questions. Describe the information you are seeking with sufficient detail so that the public body can find the requested records. Providing as much information as possible in your request on the subject matter may expedite the public body’s search process.
You do not need to describe the document specifically and accurately by the same name the public body uses. As long as the public body understands what is being requested, they must release that information, even if the requester does not call it by the same name the public body uses.
Public bodies cannot require that the public submit FOIA requests on a specific form or in a specific format. Public bodies, however, can require that FOIA requests be submitted in writing. Public bodies must accept requests by mail, personal delivery, fax, e-mail, or other means available to the public body. Public bodies may accept oral FOIA requests but are not required to do so.
Additionally, each public body must develop and make available upon request a list of documents that the public body will immediately provide to a requester. Each public body also must maintain a reasonably current list of all types or categories of records under its control, and the list should be reasonably detailed in order to aid persons in obtaining access to public records. This list must be available for inspection and copying.
Denial of FOIA Requests
The ROE will provide available information when requested by the public. Information provided or denied under the FOIA, however, must conform to the legal requirements under the Act. It may also be denied if it falls within a category under Sec. 3 of the Freedom of Information Act.
When the ROE denies a request for public records, the ROE must, within five (5) working days, or within any extended compliance period provided for in the Act, notify the person who made the request, by letter, of the decision to deny the request. The letter must explain the reasons for the denial, and give the names and titles of all persons responsible for the denial.
Please be as specific as possible when describing the records you are seeking. Remember, the Freedom of Information Act is designed to allow you to inspect or receive copies of records. It is not designed to require a public body to answer questions. To the extent that you wish to ask questions of a representative of the Regional Office of Education, you may call our Kane County Office at (630-444-3092).
Please tell us whether you would like copies of the requested records, or whether you wish to examine the records in person. You have the right to either option.
There is no fee for up to 50 pages of standard paper copies. For pages beyond 50, there is a $0.15-per-page charge.
You are permitted to ask for a waiver of copying fees. To do so, please include the following statement (or a similar statement) in your written FOIA request: “I request a waiver of all fees associated with this request.” In addition, you must include a specific explanation as to why your request for information is in the public interest – not simply your personal interest – and merits a fee waiver.
Please include your name, preferred telephone number(s), mailing address, and, if you wish, your electronic mail address.
FOIA requestors may have to pay fees covering some or all of the costs of reproducing their request. If a fee is due, you will be contacted on the cost, which must be paid prior to receiving the documents.