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(A) Freedom of information officers.
(1) In accordance with § 3.5(a) of the state’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 ILCS 140/3.5), the City Clerk is hereby designated as the Chief FOIA Officer who, except in instances when records are furnished immediately, shall receive requests submitted to the city under the FOIA, shall ensure that the city responds to requests in a timely fashion and shall issue responses under the FOIA. As Chief FOIA Officer, the City Clerk shall develop a list of documents or categories of records that the city shall immediately disclose upon request. As further contemplated by § 3.5(a) of the FOIA, the following positions are hereby designated as Deputy FOIA Officers authorized to act in assistance to and/or in the stead of the Chief FOIA Officer under the FOIA and this section:
(b) Assistant to the Mayor;
(c) Assistant City Clerk;
(d) Assistant Treasurer;
(e) Police Chief or designee; and
(f) Fire Chief or designee.
(2) The Chief FOIA Officer and Deputy FOIA Officers shall successfully complete an electronic training curriculum to be developed by the Public Access Counselor of the state and thereafter successfully complete an annual training program as required by § 3.5(b) of the FOIA (5 ILCS 140/3.5(b)).
(B) FOIA request process.
(1) (a) Upon receiving a request for a public record, the FOIA Officer shall:
1. Note the date the city receives the written request;
2. Compute the day on which the period for response will expire and make a notation of that date on the written request;
3. Maintain an electronic or paper copy of a written request, including all documents submitted with the request until the request has been complied with or denied; and
4. Create a file for the retention of the original request, a copy of the response, a record of written communications with the requester and a copy of other communications.
(b) Except in instances when records are furnished immediately, within one business day of receiving the request, the FOIA Officer shall distribute a copy of same to the offices of the Mayor and all relevant city departments and request production of responsive documents maintained by such offices. Within two business days thereafter, the offices of the Mayor and each city department so contacted shall provide any responsive documents to the FOIA Officer. Within one business day thereafter, the FOIA Officer shall draft and compile a response to the request, and review same with the City Attorney as necessary to determine the applicability of any exemptions under § 7 of the FOIA (5 ILCS 140/7). Within one business day thereafter, or any further extension under § 3(e) of the FOIA (5 ILCS 140/3(e)), the FOIA Officer shall provide a final response to the request. In accordance with § 9 of the FOIA (5 ILCS 140/9), any denial of a request by the FOIA Officer shall notify the requester in writing of the decision to deny the request, the reasons for the denial, including a detailed factual basis for the application of any exemption claimed, and the names and titles or positions of each person responsible for the denial, and shall also inform the person of the right to review by the Public Access Counselor, including the address and phone number for the Public Access Counselor, as well as the right to judicial review under § 11 of the FOIA (5 ILCS 140/11).
(2) Any records which are the subject of a request under the FOIA shall be retrieved from such place as they are stored, by the FOIA Officer, or by an employee of the city acting under the direction of the FOIA Officer. In no event shall records be retrieved by the party requesting them or by any person who is not employed by the city.
(3) If copies of records are requested, the fees for such copies, whether certified or not, shall be as determined from time to time by the FOIA Officer pursuant to § 6(b) of the FOIA (5 ILCS 140/6(b)). The City Clerk shall maintain a written schedule of current fees in the Clerk’s office. The fees so charged shall reflect the actual cost of copying the records, and the cost of certifying copies, if certification is requested.
(C) Preparation and maintenance of information. As Chief FOIA Officer, the City Clerk shall prepare and maintain the information required by § 4 of the FOIA (5 ILCS 140/4) for display in offices and on the city’s website, as well as inspection/copying.
(Ord. 7744, passed 1-21-2014)