Freedom of Information
KASKASKIA REGIONAL PORT DISTRICT ILLINOIS FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (FOIA) POLICY
Description of Kaskaskia Regional Port District:
The Kaskaskia Regional Port District, a political subdivision, a body politic and municipal corporation, was duly created by the Legislature of the State of Illinois on June 22, 1965. As such, the Kaskaskia Regional Port District is required to implement the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (5 ILCS 140) and the Open Meetings Act.
Location: The office is located at 336 North Main Street, Red Bud, Il 62278.
KRPD Board Members: The Kaskaskia Regional Port District Board exercises control over our policies and procedures which meets monthly. The Board consists of 15 Members appointed by the Governor of Illinois.
George Obernagel, Chairman
Terry Liefer, Vice- Chairman
Robert Myerscough, Treasurer
Kathy Diemert, Secretary
Designated KRPD FOIA Officer: The KRPD board will designate an FOIA Officer(s) at their annual July Board Meeting. The designated KRPD FOIA Officer(s) will complete an electronic training that will be developed and administered by the Public Access Counselor. (Any new designees must complete the training within 30 days of the designation of the employee as a FOIA contact.) (5 ILCS 120/1.05)
What is considered a “public record”: “Public records” are defined in FOIA as “all records, reports, forms, writings, letters, memoranda, books, papers, maps, photographs, microfilms, cards, tapes, recordings, electronic data processing records, electronic communications, recorded information and all other documentary materials pertaining to the transaction of public business, regardless of physical form or characteristics, having been prepared by or for, or having been or being used by, received by, in the possession of, or under the control of any public body.” (5 ILCS 140/2 (c)). Given this broad definition, FOIA is intended to cover any document, regardless of form, that pertains to government business.
Documents that the KRPD will immediately provide a requestor:
1. Monthly financial statements;
2. Annual receipts and disbursement reports;
5. Agendas of open meetings;
6. Minutes of KRPD open meetings;
9. Permits issued;
11. Annual reports.
Information that is exempt from inspection and copying: There are several exceptions to public disclosure that include but are not limited to:
· Private information: “Private information” is exempt from disclosure under FOIA. (person’s social security number, driver’s license number, employee identification number, biometric identifiers, personal financial information, passwords or other access codes, medical records, home or personal telephone numbers and addresses, and personal e-mail addresses) Disclosing information that relates to the public duties of public employees is not considered an invasion of personal privacy.
· Preliminary drafts: or notes in which opinions are expressed or policies are formulated, unless the record is publicly cited and identified by the head of the public body.
· Proposals and bids: for any contract, until a final selection is made.
Remove or black out information from produced documents: If a record contains information that is exempt from disclosure under FOIA, KRPD may remove or black out that exempt information from the records.
Unduly Burdensome: A FOIA exemption exists for requests that are unduly burdensome. A request may be considered unduly burdensome if there is no way to narrow the request, and the burden on KRPD to produce the information outweighs the public interest in the information. KRPD will give the requestor an opportunity to reduce the request to a manageable size. If it is still unduly burdensome, the KRPD will explain in writing the reasons why the request is unduly burdensome and the extent to which compliance will burden the operations of KRPD. This response is considered a denial.
How to Make a FOIA Request:
· To expedite the search process, complete the attached Request for Information under the IL Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Form.
· Your request should be directed to: Kaskaskia Regional Port District
Attn: FOIA Officer
336 North Main Street
Red Bud, IL 62278
· You must describe the information you are seeking with sufficient detail so the KRPD FOIA Officer can find the requested records. Providing as much information as possible in your request on the subject matter may expedite the search process.
All fees shall be paid prior to delivery of any records. To reimburse us our actual costs for reproducing and certifying (if requested) the records, you will be charged the following fees:
1. Black and white, letter or legal sized copies (8 ˝ x 11 or 11 x 17), the first 50 pages are free. Any additional pages are 15 cents a page.
2. Electronic copies produced on CDs will be charged for the actual cost of purchasing the CDs.
The KRPD office will respond to a written request within 5 business days from the day that the public body receives the request. An extension of an additional 5 business days may be necessary to properly respond. If additional time is needed, the KRPD will 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. The 5 business day time period starts the day KRPD receives the request. (Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays are not business days and cannot be counted in the 5 business day time period.)
Records may be inspected or copied. If inspected, a KRPD employee must be present throughout the inspection.
The place and times where the records will be available are as follows:
Kaskaskia Regional Port District
336 North Main Street, Red Bud, IL 62278
Monday-Friday 8:30A.M.-4:30 P.M.
If the KRPD believes that the records requested under FOIA fall into one of two specific exemptions in FOIA and intends to assert those exemptions and withhold the records in whole or in part from disclosure, the KRPD will first provide written notice to the Public Access Counselor (PAC) before asserting either of those exemptions. Specific Exemptions: (1) disclosure of personal information would result in an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy (5 ILCS 140/7 (1) (c)); or (2) the information falls under the exemption for preliminary policy drafts (5ILCS 140.9.5 (b)).
The KRPD will include the following with the written notice to the PAC:
· a copy of the FOIA request;
· the proposed answer by the public body; and
· a detailed summary of the public body’s basis for asserting the exemption. (5ILCS 140/9.5(b)).
Once the PAC receives the written notice from the KRPD, the PAC has five working days (5 ILCS 140/9.5(b)) to determine if further inquiry is necessary. If the PAC decides that further inquiry is necessary to determine whether either of the exemptions may be used, the timeline for a Request for Review begins, and the KRPD must provide any information requested by the PAC within seven working days of receiving the PAC’s request. (5 ILCS 140.9.5(c)).
During the time period that the PAC is reviewing whether the KRPD can assert either of these exemptions, the clock stops running for the KRPD to respond to the FOIA request. (5 ILCS 140/9.5(b)).
The Requester has the right to file a Request for Review to the PAC, as well as the right to seek judicial review by filing a court case. The request for review must be made in writing, be signed by the requester, and include a copy of the FOIA request for access to records and any responses from the KRPD. The request for review must be submitted within 60 calendar days after the date of the final denial from the KRPD. The Public Access Counselor contact information:
Electronic mail: email@example.com <mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>
US Mail: Sara Pratt
Acting Public Access Counselor
Public Access Bureau
500 S. 2nd St.
Springfield, IL 62706
FOIA Hotline: 1-877-299-3642
This policy was approved by the Members of the Board of the Kaskaskia Regional Port District at its January 14, 2013 Board Meeting.
Board Member Attendence by Electronic Participation
POLICY ON ATTENDING MEETINGS VIA ELECTRONIC MEANS
Whereas, the Kaskaskia Regional Port District believes it is in the best interest of its Members that the fullest participation and attendance at all meetings be achieved whenever possible; and
Whereas, the use of electronic conferencing for meeting attendance and voting requirements is permissible so long as the meeting is conducted in accordance with the Open Meetings Act; and
Whereas the Open Meetings Act allows attendance at public body meetings through audio-conference, video-conference, or by any other electronic conferencing without physical attendance when prevented by:
a. Personal illness or disability
b. Employment purposes or the business of the public body, and
c. A family or other emergency.
Whereas, the Open Meetings Act permits members to attend meetings by other means than physical presence so long as they adopt specific procedural rules; and
Whereas, the Kaskaskia Regional Port District in all of its regular, special, and committee meetings intends to comply with the provisions of the provisions of the Open Meetings Act.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Kaskaskia Regional Port District having considered the aforesaid matters, hereby adopts this policy to be used, when needed, to make use of the capabilities for conferencing by electronic means or any other type of conferencing for its regular meetings or any of its committee meetings as more specifically set forth in this Resolution, and to adopt, establish, and set forth these Rules of the Kaskaskia Regional Port District applicable thereto:
1. All pertinent provisions of the Open Meetings Act must be complied with, including specifically the proper notice of any regular or special meeting, the proper record keeping or minutes of each meeting, the appropriate agenda preparation for each meeting, which in addition shall be posted along with the notice of the meeting; and, in particular, any use of closed sessions shall be in compliance with the provisions of the Act.
2. That sufficient security and identification procedures be employed, either at the outset of any meeting or at any time during the meeting as appropriate, to ensure that any and all members attending for discussion or voting purposes are in fact authorized members with the right to speak and vote.
3. Pursuant to the Open Meeting Act, the requirement in 5 ILCS 120/7(a) that a quorum of members of the Board MUST be physically present at the location of the meeting shall apply.
4. All Kaskaskia Regional Port District board members or committee members attending meetings by electronic conferencing shall be entitled to vote as if they were personally and physically present at the meeting site so long as a quorum is physically present and counted for, but their votes shall be recorded by the Secretary as done by electronic attendance.
5. A board member or committee member who attends a meeting by video or audio conference must provide notice to the recording secretary at least 24 hours prior to the meeting unless advanced notice is impracticable.
6. A member may attend a meeting or committee meeting through electronic conferencing, if his or her physical presence at the meeting is prevented by:
a. personal illness or disability
b. employment purposes or the business of the public body
c. or a family or other emergency
Board Members requesting participation by electronic means shall cite one of the three permitted reasons upon roll call and the reason shall be recorded in the minutes.
7. The meeting minutes shall include, but need not be limited to: a) the date, time and place of the meeting; b) the members who were either present or absent from the meeting and whether those members in attendance were physically present or present by audio conference, video conference or by other electronic means; c) a summary of discussion of all matters proposed, deliberated, or decided; and d) a record of any votes taken.
8. The location of the meeting included on the notice shall be equipped with a suitable transmission system (e.g. a speakerphone) in order that the public audience, the members in attendance, and any staff in attendance will be able to hear any input, vote or discussion of the conference, and that the member attending by electronic means shall have a similar capability of hearing and participating in such input, vote or discussion.
9. As the District begins each new matter of business, the chair will check with all remote locations with District member(s) present to ensure that each such connection is active and not muted.
10. When a motion is made and seconded, and discussion regarding the motion begins, the chair will check that the connection with remote locations with District member(s) is active and not muted. Prior to closing discussion and taking any vote, the chair will ask all remote locations with District member(s) present whether there are any additional comments, questions, or information to be added to the discussion.
11. The rules set out above shall also apply to each committee and each sub-committee meeting.
12. This policy applies only to Port District Board Members and not to the general public.
This policy was approved by the Members of the Board of the Kaskaskia Regional Port District at its January 14, 2013 Board Meeting.