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FOIA Information

THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT

 
To better serve the community and achieve greater transparency in government, School District 207 offers Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) forms and response documents *ONLINE* as a public courtesy. This program has received praise from the Illinois Attorney General's Office for its innovation and transparency. 
 
If your inquiry is merely a question and not a request to see a specific record/document, you will be best served by calling the D207 District Office and asking to speak with the appropriate personnel on that topic.  The District Office phone number is 815-624-5003.  You do not need to file a FOIA unless you want to access a specific record/document.
 
Citizens have a right to access public records of their governmental public bodies, including school districts. The Illinois Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140) gives members of the public the right to file a request with a public body to inspect or receive copies of specific public records. The Act aims to help ensure open, honest government.  However, FOIA does not require the district to create documentation in response to a request. The district is only required to supply existing records. 

To allow governmental bodies to operate efficiently and to protect personal privacy, the Act exempts (excludes) specific types of records from public release, with some general examples being medical records, student records, attorney-client privileged correspondence, staff discipline files, test questions and answers, security plans, and the minutes of closed session meetings not yet approved by Board vote for release.

 The public body must respond in writing to each written request for records within 5 working days. It must give the requester written notice of any existing records relevant to the request, and, if any of those records are exempt from release, the reason(s) for the exemption. Also, if within those 5 working days the public body denies the request, it must likewise notify the requestor in writing and cite the reason(s) under the law.

Under specific circumstances, the Act allows the public body to extend the response time another 5 working days, through written notification to the requestor. If that extension expires without response from the public body, the request is considered denied.

The public body has 21 business days to respond to a request for records which will be used for "Commercial Purposes." Under the FOIA law, "commercial purposes" means the use of any part of a public record or documentation derived from a public record in any form for sale, resale, or solicitation or advertisement for sales or services.

As the requester, you have the right to appeal High School District 207's response to any request. Appeals must be addressed to the Public Access Counselor in the office of the Illinois Attorney General. You can contact the Public Access Counselor by phone at 217.558.0486, by e-mail at publicaccess@atg.state.il.us or by mail: Illinois Public Access Bureau, 500 S. 2nd Street, Springfield, Illinois 62706.

The Illinois General Assembly (state legislature) updated the Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act on January 1, 2010. The Hononegah District 207 FOIA Officers are Lynn Gibson: Superintendent, Kim Suedbeck: Assistant Superintendent, and Terry Kruse: Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent.