FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT
Where and How to Make a
Request for Information or Documents
The County shall establish an easy and intuitive method
for members of the public to request public information by
visiting the County web site at www.co.adams.il.us.
The method and instructions for users to make an
electronic submission will be prominently posted, and in most
cases, a link on the site will connect to a form which can be
completed and submitted online.
Departments and County Offices (“Departments) may adopt a
preferred method of their own choosing, but all requests for
information shall be made in writing.
Requesters may also complete and submit a paper form at
the office of the Department which has control or possession of
the desired information or materials.
Members of the public must submit their requests in
writing and must describe the records with sufficient clarity as
to enable FOIA officers to identify and locate the records.
FOIA officers should make reasonable attempts to assist
members of the public in accessing records which are responsive
to the information they wish to acquire, but public bodies shall
not be required to create a record or document which is not
generated as a part of normal operations or routine record
management. In order
to aid persons in obtaining public records, the department heads
and office holders (“Department Heads”) shall create a list of
records under their control sufficiently detailed to enable
members of the general public to identify information pertinent
to their requests and make the list available to members of the
public upon request.
The County Clerk shall be responsible to generate and maintain a
list of documents on behalf of the County Board and shall
perform as that body’s FOIA officer.
Department Heads, their employees and FOIA officers shall
not be required to provide analysis or interpretation of records
nor provide an explanation of their meaning, and should refrain
from doing so.
Designation of FOIA Officers
Department Heads shall designate sufficient FOIA officers within
their Departments to promptly and accurately respond to requests
for review or copies of the public records held and maintained
within their areas of responsibility or under their purview.
FOIA officers shall undergo the web-based training
required under the Act and register as FOIA officers through the
state Attorney General’s web site.
FOIA officers shall also be responsible for annual
recertification; and each Department Head shall be responsible
for making sure recertification is timely completed.
Department Heads shall assume such authority and responsibility
as is required of them to comply with the Illinois FOIA.
Included among the requirements of the Act are:
Designate FOIA officers and ensure they undergo training
in accordance with the Act; prepare a written summary of the
purpose and description of their office; prepare a description
of the methods whereby members of the public may request access
to public records; prepare a directory of FOIA officers within
their agency; and prepare
a list of records of documents which are available for immediate
release upon request.
Each Department shall provide the foregoing information
to the Information Technology Department in electronic format
for posting on the County’s website.
Agencies of the judiciary, the Circuit Clerk and
Probation Department are exempted from the Illinois FOIA.
All designated FOIA officers for the
Departments of Adams County shall undertake duties as is
required of them under the Illinois FOIA, including, but not
limited to the following:
1. Undertake and successfully complete all
training which is required under the Illinois FOIA.
Receive, date-stamp and promptly and
appropriately respond to public requests for access to public
3. Create and retain records, files and
indices as is required by public bodies under the Act.
4. Meet with and confer with persons
seeking access to public records to facilitate the acquisition
of information accurately and correctly.
5. Confer with the office of the Public
Access Counselor (“PAC”) on an ongoing basis for guidance on the
correct application of the law and fulfill the legal demands of
the PAC with respect to requesters’ petitions for review.
6. Other miscellaneous duties related to
the Illinois FOIA.
PAC – The Public Access Counselor
is part of Office
of the Attorney General and is responsible for ensuring
compliance with FOIA.
The PAC has the authority to review requests for
documents under FOIA and determine whether those documents
should have been produced under FOIA.
Each Department will be responsible for complying with FOIA
requests. If the
Department cannot respond to a FOIA request as a matter of
course in a timely manner, the Department should contact and
forward the request to the Adams County State’s Attorney (“SAO”)
immediately. If the
Department of origin and custodial Department cannot reach a
mutual agreement regarding the response to a FOIA request, the
SAO shall be contacted in order to determine the appropriate
response. If a
denial is being made based upon the privacy or policy draft
exceptions, the SAO shall be contacted in order to seek
permission from the PAC to deny the request.
The SAO will be involved in all requests to the PAC for
Denial appeals made by the requestor shall be handled by the
having questions or concerns regarding answering FOIA requests
shall contact the SAO.