Freedom of Information
Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA)
Requesters that choose to have their information emailed will not incur any fees for photocopying.
Please note that fees may be charged for information mailed to requestors, DVD, CD, and oversized document duplications.
For more information, please call Jacque Arnold at 815-467-6767 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Download FOIA Form 1 to print and submit by mail, in person or by email to email@example.com
Information About FOIA
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is the principal Illinois statutory enactment governing the inspection of public records. This Act guarantees access to thousands of documents and records generated by the state and local governmental bodies. Specifically, it provides the public with a mechanism to observe government in action and to monitor the actions that government takes.
Who has the right to inspect public records?
Any individual, corporation, partnership, firm or organization, acting individually or as a group has the right to inspect public records.
What information must be made available?
Full and complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts and policies of those who represent them. Basically, all records having been prepared, or having been used, received, possessed or under the control of the Fire District must be made available unless the Act provides a specific exemption from disclosure. If the records are in an electronic format, upon request of the requestor the Fire District will supply the records either, (1) in a different electronic format, if feasible, or (2) in paper format at the option of the requestor.
What information is exempted from public disclosure?
While the Freedom of Information Act provides for the disclosure of public information, it does recognize that in order to enable public bodies to perform certain governmental functions properly and in order to protect personal privacy, some records and information should remain confidential. A complete listing of these exempted records and information is specified under Section 7 of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.
The following is the Channahon Fire Protection District’s procedure for obtaining information through the Freedom of Information Act. By following these steps, requests for information can be expedited in an effective and efficient manner.
Step 1: Complete a Freedom of Information Act Request Form
All requests for information must be made in completed form. Forms are available for download from here, or from the Executive Fire Support Manager’s Office, located at 24929 S. Center Street – Channahon IL.
Once a form has been completed, requests for information covered under the Act should be referred to the Executive Fire Support Manager’s Office, specifically the FOIA Officer.
Any type of request for information should be accompanied by the request form. Forms should be completed even when there are concerns that the information may be exempt under the Act.
It is important to be as direct/specific as possible when making a request. A request may be made in a letter format if it contains all the necessary information required on the forms.
Step 2: Addressing the Request
Hard copy requests may be emailed or mailed to the Freedom of Information Act Officer to the following address/email:
Channahon Fire Protection District
Freedom of Information Officer
24929 S. Center Street
Individuals may make FOIA requests between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except on Fire District-observed holidays.
Step 3: Fire District Response
The Freedom of Information Officer shall determine whether the information is exempt or nonexempt under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.
The Fire District shall respond to a written request within five (5) working days from the receipt of the request. It is possible that the Fire District will request an additional five (5) working days to fulfill the request. However, a written response informing the requester of an extension will be made by the fifth (5th) working day.
The Fire District shall respond to the request in the following manner:
Approve the request
Approve in part and deny in part / “Partial Denial”
Deny the request
Give notice of an extension
Provide the requestor with an opportunity to appeal a response
Response to Commercial Request:
A requester must inform the Fire District if a FOIA request is going to be used for a commercial purpose. It is a violation of the Act to attempt to procure a public record without disclosing that the use is for a commercial purpose. For requests for commercial purposes the Fire District has twenty-one (21) days to respond with an estimate when the request will be completed and the fees associated with it. However, these records must be provided within a reasonable time. The Fire District may require the requestor to pay in full before copying any documents.
Requests from the news media or non-profit scientific or academic organizations are not classified as a request for commercial purpose if the purpose of the information is to:
-Access and disseminate information concerning news and current or passing events
-Write articles of opinion or features of interest to the public.
-Use for the purpose of academic, scientific or public research/education.
Upon approval of a request for public records, the Fire District may either provide the materials immediately or up to five days after a request, give notice that the materials shall be made available upon
payment of reproduction costs, or give notice of the time and place for inspection of records. Generally, public records will be made available for inspection during regular Fire District business hours.
When inspecting records, a Fire District employee may be present throughout the inspection.
Requestors that choose to have their information emailed will not incur any fees for photocopying, unless the information is contained in an oversized document, DVD or CD. These formats cannot be emailed.
Per Fire District Code, Article 1.05 Freedom of Information, Section 4 – Fees
Service charges for copies of documents shall be as follows:
Report (including ambulance calls) . . . $20
Photocopy . . . 0.15¢ (First 50 copies are free)
A fee equal to the actual cost may be charged for color copies.
Oversized documents . . . fee determined by size*
Categorical requests creating an undue burden upon the Fire District shall be denied only after extending to the requestor an opportunity to reduce the request to a manageable proportion.
A denial of a request for public records shall be made in writing. It shall state a detailed reason for the denial in accordance with either Section 3(f) or Section 7 of the Freedom of Information Act, and the names and titles of the individual responsible for the decision. It shall also give notice of the requestor’s right to appeal the denial, in writing, to the Public Access Counselor (PAC), with the address and telephone number of PAC, and the right to judicial review under Section 11 of the Act.
When requests are denied in whole or in part, the requestor may appeal the decision. Appeals should be made within 60 days in writing, signed by the requestor, should include a copy of the FOIA request
and any responses from the Fire District and must be addressed as follows:
By US Mail:
Public Access Counselor
Office of the Attorney General
500 S. 2nd Street
Springfield, IL 62706
The PAC shall affirm the denial, provide access to the records, or provide access to portions of the records.