On January 8, 2014, the City received a written request from Steve Hoffman, Editor of the Piatt County Journal-Republican (Journal), for the total number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests received by the City in 2013. This request was made for a story being assembled for the Journal to include the City and other governmental entities. The City formally processed a total of 1,948 requests during the 2013 calendar year.
The City established a revised Administrative Policy in 2010 to comply with the revised statutory requirement (ILCS 5/140/3(c)) to provide proper inspection or copies of public records. In addition, City policy requires requests be tracked to ensure timely response to requests as required by statute. Because of the physical location and potential content of certain records, the City established FOIA Officers in each major area of the City including Administration, Police, Metcad, and the Library. Each FOIA Officer, and FOIA designee, is required by Illinois Statute to complete annual training certification.
Each FOIA Officer is responsible for ensuring requests are completed according to statutory regulations and City policy. Due to the decentralized nature of City operations, some requests are handled directly by individual departments through designated departmental staff who track requests. City staff does not track certain oral requests or requests for records that are immediately accessible.
Based on information from all FOIA Officers and departmental designees, the City formally processed a total of 1,948 requests during calendar year 2013. The number of records requested is higher, but is undocumented because of how staff responds to certain oral requests; and the fact that records considered immediately available are provided immediately by staff either in print, electronically, on disc, or through the City’s website.