Freedom of Information Act Public Employees

The Freedom of Information Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1966 to promote government transparency and the free exchange of public information. Under FOIA, any individual can request federal... more +
The Freedom of Information Act is a United States federal statute enacted in 1966 to promote government transparency and the free exchange of public information. Under FOIA, any individual can request federal agency records and enforce that right in a court of law. However, not all agency records can be requested; there are nine exempt categories of information. In addition to the federal law, many states have passed their own freedom of information acts. These acts are often similar but not always identical to the federal version.  less -
News & Analysis as of

"Private" E-mails and FOIA

Recent legal decisions continue to blur the line between private communications and public records, extending the reach of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Because of these shifts, proactive government officials are...more

Informing Illinois Newsletter - August 2016

Is Your Police Department Ready for Body Cameras? - Police use of force has been heavily scrutinized for more than a year. In May 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that it was providing $20 million in grants...more

Illinois AG Rules That Public Employees' Personal Emails Are Public Records - Messages Pertaining to Public Business in Personal...

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has issued a binding opinion under the state's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that email messages sent or received through public employees' personal email accounts may be public...more

Informing Illinois Newsletter - February 2016: Personal Documents Stored on a Government Computer System — Disclosable Under...

Personal Documents Stored on a Government Computer System — Disclosable Under Illinois' FOIA? Not all documents created or stored on a government computer system are subject to disclosure under Illinois' Freedom of...more

Appellate Court Notes

- Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: - SC19422 - Awdziewicz v. Meriden Certain police officers retired, entitling them to pension benefits under the City Charter as previously modified in a separate lawsuit...more

Sex, Lies, and The FOIA: Wotjas v. Town of Stonington and The Disclosure of Sexual Harassment Complaints, Regardless of “Guilt.”

This author wrote previously on the status of sexual harassment investigations under the Freedom of Information Act [”FOIA”]. In a case that has grabbed some notoriety; the Freedom of Information Commission [“FOIC”] has...more

Government Contracting, The False Claims Act and the Art of Voluntary Disclosures

With so many personal gadgets needing daily recharging, desktop hard drives running 24 hours a day, and DVRs recording movies that run while we’re asleep, do you wonder where all that electricity is coming from? The next big...more

Illinois Appellate Court Narrows Attorney General's FOIA Opinion on Communications on Elected Officials' Private Devices

On July 16, 2013, the Appellate Court of Illinois for the Fourth District issued an opinion in City of Champaign v. Madigan, 2013 IL App (4th) 120662, that upheld the Illinois Attorney General's (AG) binding opinion (Public...more

Balancing The Burdens Of Transparency In The Illinois Freedom Of Information Act

A recent Chicago Tribune editorial, “The burden of transparency” asks a provocative question: does the unduly burdensome exemption in the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allow an unfair loophole for public bodies...more

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