ILLINOIS HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
It is the public policy of the Human Rights Commission that all persons are entitled to full and complete information regarding the governance of the Human Rights Commission (“HRC”) consistent with the Illinois Human Rights Act and the Freedom of Information Act. A fundamental obligation of the HRC is to operate openly and to provide public records in an efficient and expedient manner consistent with the Illinois Human Rights Act and Freedom of information Act. The HRC is not obligated to maintain or prepare any public record that was not maintained or prepared by the HRC on the effective date of the Freedom of Information Act, as amended except as otherwise required by applicable local, State, or Federal law. Requests that foster an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, of commercial enterprise that unduly burdens public resources, and requests that disrupt the duly-undertaken work of the HRC, absent a herein enunciated exemption, are not contemplated under the Freedom of Information Act.
WHAT IS FOIA?
FOIA is the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. Under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140), records in possession of public agencies may be accessed by the public upon written request. Pursuant to 5 ILCS 140, Section 2(c), a public record is any records, reports, forms, writings, letters, memoranda, books, papers, maps, photographs, cards, tapes, recordings, electronic data processing records, recorded information and all other documentary materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, having been prepared, or having been or being used, received, possessed or under the control of any public body. Records that are not subject to release via the FOIA process include confidential and trade secret information.
HOW DO I SUBMIT A FOIA REQUEST?
FOIA requests must be submitted in writing. Written requests may be either:
Faxed to: (312) 814-6517, to the attention of the FOIA Officer of the Illinois Human Rights Commission
Illinois Human Rights Commission
ATTN: FOIA OFFICER
James R. Thompson Center
100 W. Randolph Street
Chicago, Illinois 60601
E-mailed to: The Attention of the FOIA Officer (write in subject line) at Christine.Welninski@Illinois.gov, or Donyelle.Gray@Illinois.gov on all FOIA requests made via e-mail.
The requestor should clearly state that he or she is seeking information pursuant to the FOIA. Further, the requestor should clearly describe the information being sought. The request should include full contact information for the requestor, including name, organization, mailing address, fax number, and daytime telephone number.
If so desired, the requestor must state if he or she wants the HRC to certify the FOIA records. The HRC cannot certify the FOIA records after they have been sent to the requestor.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE FOIA REQUEST IS SUBMITTED?
a) Except as stated in subsection (b) or (c), the Agency will respond to any written request for records within 5 business days after its receipt of the request.
A written request from the Agency to provide additional information shall be considered a response to the FOIA request.
b) The time limits prescribed in subsection (a) may be extended for 5 business days from the original due date for any of the following reasons:
1) The requested records are stored in whole or in part at locations other than the office having charge of the requested records;
2) The request requires the collection of a substantial number of specified records;
3) The request is couched in categorical terms and requires an extensive search for the records responsive to it;
4) The requested records have not been located in the course of routine search and additional efforts are being made to locate them;
5) The requested records require examination and evaluation by personnel having the necessary competence and discretion to determine if they are exempt from disclosure under Section 7 or 7.5 of FOIA or should be revealed only with appropriate deletions;
6) The request for records cannot be complied with by the Agency within the time limits prescribed by subsection (a) without unduly burdening or interfering with the operations of the Agency; or
7) There is a need for consultation, which shall be conducted with all practicable speed, with another public body or among two or more components of a public body having a substantial interest in the determination or in the subject matter of the request. (Section 3(e) of FOIA)
c) The person making a request and the Agency may agree in writing to extend the time for compliance for a period to be determined by the parties.
FOIA REQUEST DENIAL AND THE APPEAL PROCESS
A person whose request to inspect or copy a record is denied by the Agency may file a request for review with the Public Access Counselor established in the Office of the Attorney General not later than 60 days after the date of the final denial (Section 9.5 (a) of FOIA) a) The Agency will fulfill requests calling for all records falling within a category unless compliance with the request would unduly burden the Agency, there is no way to narrow the request, and the burden on the Agency outweighs the public interest in the information. Before invoking this exemption, the Agency will extend to the requester an opportunity to confer with it in an attempt to reduce the request to manageable proportions. The amended request must be in writing. b) If the Agency determines that a request is unduly burdensome, it shall do so in writing, specifying the reasons why it would be unduly burdensome and the extent to which compliance will so burden the operations of the Agency. Such a response shall be treated as a denial of the request for information. (Section 3(g) of FOIA) c) Repeated requests for records that are unchanged or identical to records previously provided or properly denied under this Part from the same person shall be deemed unduly burdensome. (Section 3(g) of FOIA) d) The agency will deny requests for records when: 1) Compliance with the request would unduly burden the Agency, as determined pursuant to Section 927.402, and the requester has not reduced the request to manageable proportions; 2) The records are exempt from disclosure pursuant to Section 7 or 7.5 of FOIA.
Pursuant to 5 ILCS 140/6 of the FOIA, agencies "…may charges fees that are reasonably calculated to reimburse its actual cost for reproducing and certifying public records…" Copies of records will be provided to the requester only upon payment of any fees due. The Agency may charge the requester for the actual cost of purchasing the recording medium whether disc, diskette, tape, or other medium. Payment must be by check or money order sent to the IHRC payable to “Treasurer, State of Illinois.” If copies are to be made by an outside business, the requester is responsible for payment directly to the copying business prior to the release of any records.
FEE SCHEDULE FOR DUPLICATION AND CERTIFICATION OF RECORDS
TYPE OF DUPLICATION
FEE (PER COPY)
Paper copy from original, up to and including 50 copies of black and white, letter or legal sized copies
Paper copy from original, in excess of 50 copies of black and white, letter or legal sized copies
Paper copies in color or in a size other than letter or legal
Actual cost of the reproduction
Fees may be waived or reduced under certain circumstances. In general, pursuant to 5 ILCS 140/6 (b) of the FOIA, the waiver or reduction of fees will be granted when it is determined to be in the public interest. NOTE: Expense for delivery other than by First Class U.S. Mail must be borne by the requester.
TYPE OF DUPLICATION FEE (PER COPY) Paper copy from original, up to and including 50 copies of black and white, letter or legal sized copies No charge Paper copy from original, in excess of 50 copies of black and white, letter or legal sized copies $.15/page Paper copies in color or in a size other than letter or legal Actual cost of the reproduction Certification fee $1.00/record Fees may be waived or reduced under certain circumstances. In general, pursuant to 5 ILCS 140/6 (b) of the FOIA, the waiver or reduction of fees will be granted when it is determined to be in the public interest. NOTE: Expense for delivery other than by First Class U.S. Mail must be borne by the requester.
The website information concerning these HRC FOIA procedures is being provided as required by Section 4 of the FOIA (5 ILCS 140/4). This website information may be revised and/or updated in the future.
FOIA REQUESTS RECEIVED
July 1, 2009 - June 30, 2010
January 1, 2011 - December 31, 2011