Section 1.1. Purpose and Scope.
These regulations are promulgated pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 ILCS 140/1. These regulations are intended to provide information concerning the
procedures by which public records may be obtained from all departments of the City of Springfield.
Public records of the City of Springfield made available pursuant to the requirements of the FOIA shall be furnished to members of the public as prescribed by these rules and
regulations. Officers and employees of the City may continue to furnish to the public, informally and without compliance with the process prescribed herein, information and
records which prior to the enactment of the FOIA were furnished customarily in the regular performance of their duties.
Section 1.2. General Limitations.
These rules are not intended to be used to violate individual privacy, nor for the purpose of furthering a commercial enterprise, or to disrupt the duly-undertaken work of
the City of Springfield.
PROCEDURES BY WHICH RECORDS MAY BE OBTAINED
Section 2.1. Public Records Office.
The Office of the City Clerk, Room 106, Municipal Center West, Springfield, Illinois, will process requests to inspect and copy public records. The normal business hours of
the Office of City Clerk are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Monday through Friday.
Section 2.2. Requests for Records and Copies.
(a) How made and addressed. A request for a record of the City which is not customarily made available or which is not available at the City Clerk’s Office may be made
personally at the Office of the City Clerk on forms provided by the City Clerk or by mail, with the envelope and the letter clearly marked “Freedom of Information Request”
or “Information Request.” All requests received by mail shall be addressed to the City Clerk, Room 106, Municipal Center West, Springfield, Illinois 62701. Requests can be
made electronically via the City Clerk’s website at www.springfieldcityclerk.com. Requests can be made via facsimile to 217-789-2144.
(b) Description of records sought. A request to inspect or copy a record should reasonably describe the record by reference to the subject matter, approximate date of
issuance, if known, and the department, board, commission, or agency within the City which is responsible for maintaining the record, if known.
(c) Information may be requested. Where the information supplied by the requester is not sufficient to permit location of the records with a reasonable amount of
effort, the requester may be asked to supply additional necessary information which will enable the City department to locate the document.
Section 3.1. FOIA Coordinators.
The Mayor shall appoint a FOIA coordinator for the Office of Public Works, Office of Human Resources, Office of Public Utilities, Office of Corporation Counsel, Office of
Planning and Economic Development, the Office of Budget and Management, Springfield Fire Department and Springfield Police Department. The City Treasurer and City Clerk
shall appoint a FOIA coordinator for their respective offices. The Mayor and City Treasurer shall notify the City Clerk in writing of the name of the FOIA coordinator for
their respective offices.
Section 3.2. Referral to Appropriate Office.
The City Clerk shall make and retain a copy of each request for records. The Clerk shall forward a request-for-records via the electronic FOIA Tracking System to the FOIA
coordinator for the office which has primary concern with the records requested. Within five (5) working days of receipt of a request, the Freedom of Information coordinator
of the concerned office shall comply with or deny the request via the FOIA Tracking System.
Section 3.3. Extension of Time.
The FOI coordinator may request an extension of time for an additional 5 business days from the date of the original due date if:
• The requested information is stored at a different location;
• The request requires the collection of a substantial number of documents;
• The request requires an extensive search;
• The requested records have not been located and require additional effort to find;
• The requested records need to be reviewed by staff who can determine whether they are exempt from FOIA;
• The requested records cannot be produced without unduly burdening the public body or interfering with its operations; or
• The request requires the public body to consult with another public body who has substantial interest in the subject matter of the request.
If additional time is needed, the City 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. If the City does not respond to the request within 5 business days after receiving it, that inaction is considered a
denial of the request. If that occurs, the requestor can either file a Request for Review with the Attorney General’s PAC or file a case in court. If you choose to file a
Request for Review, the request must be sent to:
Public Access Bureau
500 S. 2nd Street
Springfield, IL 62706
Email Address: email@example.com
Section 3.4. Delay Treated as Denial.
Failure to comply with a written request, extend the time for response, or to deny the request within five (5) working days from the receipt of the request is considered a
denial of the request.
RESPONSE TO REQUESTS
Section 4.1. Form of Grant.
When a requested record has been identified and is available, the City Clerk shall notify the requester as to where and when the record will be available for inspection or
copies and of any applicable fees.
Section 4.2. Form of Denial.
The City Clerk shall notify the requester in writing whenever the request for records has been denied. The notice of denial shall include:
(1) The reasons for denial;
(2) Notification of the requestors right to and instructions on the appeal process.
Section 4.3. Commercial Requests.
The City has 21 business days to respond to a request for information that is made for a commercial purpose. The City may do one of the following:
(1) Provide the requested records;
(2) Advise when the records will be provided and the costs;
(3) Deny the request (if it falls under an exception); or
(4) Advise the requestor that the request is unduly burdensome.
Section 4.4. Repeated Requests.
Repeated requests for the same records may be deemed unduly burdensome under this provision.
Section 4.5. Record Cannot Be Located.
If a requested record cannot be located from the information supplied or is known to have been destroyed or otherwise disposed of or does not exist, the City Clerk shall so
notify the requester.
Section 5.1. Appeal.
Whenever a request for records is denied in whole or in part, the requester may file a notice of appeal in writing. The Request for Review is filed with the Public Access
Counselor at the Attorney General’s Office.
The requestor may also seek judicial relief by filing a lawsuit in the State Circuit Court (5 ILCS 140/11). If you choose to file a Request for Review with the PAC, the
request must be sent to the address below within 60 calendar days of the date of the denial letter. (5 IOLCS 140/9.5(a). The Request for Review must include a copy of the
original FOIA request and the denial letter.
Public Access Bureau
500 S. 2nd Street
Springfield, IL 62706
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The PAC will review the request and will do one of three things:
(1) Decide that no further action is necessary. If the PAC decides that the alleged violation is unfounded and no further action is necessary, the PAC will inform the
requestor and the City of that decision.
(2) Request more information from the City. If more information is needed to review the issue, the PAC may, within 7 working days after receiving the Request for Review,
send a copy of the Request to the City and ask for any records the PAC needs to complete the review. The City has 7 working days to provide the requested information. The
Attorney General, through the PAC, has the authority to issue a subpoena if the City fails to fully respond.
(3) The PAC may also try to resolve your FOIA dispute with the City through mediation or other informal efforts.
If the PAC decides to issue a binding opinion, the PAC will issue that opinion within 60 calendar days after receiving all the information needed to decide the matter. The
PAC may extend the 60-day time period by 21 working days by sending a written notice to the requestor and the City. This written notice must include the reasons for the
MAINTENANCE OF FILES
Section 6.1. Files of Denied Requests.
Copies of all notices of denial shall be retained by the City Clerk in a single central office file that is open to the public and indexed according to the type of exemption
asserted and, when feasible, according to the types of records requested.
SCHEDULE OF FEES
Section 7.1. Fees.
Fees are limited. For traditional black and white, letter or legal sized copies (8 ½ x 11 or 11 x 14), the first 50 pages are free. Additional pages shall be charged at $0.15
per page. For color copies or abnormal size copies, charges shall be the actual cost of copying.
Section 7.2. Copies.
15 cents per page;
Certification - $1.00 each.
Section 7.3. Tape Recordings and Other Audio Records.
Cassette Tape - Actual Cost
CD - Actual Cost
Section 7.4. Form of Payment.
Payment shall be made by cash, check, or money order payable to the City of Springfield. The Office of the City Clerk also accepts MasterCard, Discover and American Express. A
convenience fee (2.10%) will apply.
DISSEMINATION OF IMFORMATION ABOUT THE CITY OF SPRINGFIELD
Section 8.1. Municipal Directory.
The City Clerk shall make available for inspection and copying, the following information about the City of Springfield:
(1) A brief description of the City;
(2) A block diagram of the City's functional subdivisions;
(3) The number and location of all its offices;
(4) The approximate number of City employees;
(5) The identification and membership of all City boards, commissions, committees or councils;
(6) The total amount of its operating budget.
Section 8.2. Records Inspection Procedure.
The City Clerk shall make available for inspection and copying a brief description of the City's record inspection procedure.
Section 8.3. Index.
The City Clerk shall make available for inspection and copying, a current index of City records.
Section 8.54 Public Display of Information.
The City shall prominently display at the Municipal Building, 7th and Monroe Streets, a copy of the municipal directory, records inspection procedures and City index of records.