Allegan District Library
Freedom of Information Act Policy
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request under Public Act 442 of 1976, states: “It is the public policy of this state that all persons, except those persons incarcerated in state or local correctional facilities, are entitled to full and complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of those who represent them as public officials and public employees, consistent with this act. The people should be informed so that they may fully participate in the democratic process.” Pursuant with this Act, the Allegan District Library accepts the following policy for responding to such requests.
o Individuals desiring to inspect or receive of copy of a public record of the Allegan District Library shall make a written request for the public record to the FOIA Coordinator. Individual Board members should refer all requests for public documents to the FOIA Coordinator. A written request made by facsimile, electronic mail, or other electronic transmission is not received by the Allegan District Library FOIA Coordinator until 1 business day after the electronic transmission is made. The email address for emailed FOIA requests shall be email@example.com.
o The FOIA Coordinator is an individual designated by a public body to accept and process requests for public records under this act. The FOIA Coordinator for the Allegan District Library will typically be the Director of the Library. All requests should be made through the FOIA Coordinator and a record will be kept by the Coordinator of all requests. In the event that the Coordinator is unavailable, the President of the Library Board of Trustees will serve as the Acting FOIA Coordinator.
o Upon receiving a FOIA request, the Coordinator will respond to such request within 5 days, and grant the individual(s) the right to inspect, copy, or receive copies of the requested public record of the Allegan District Library. Any employee of the Allegan District Library who receives a request for a public record shall promptly forward that request to the Coordinator. Individual(s) have the right to subscribe to future issuances of Library public record for a period of six (6) months, after which another FOIA request may be made to renew said subscription.
o The Allegan District Library shall furnish the requesting individual(s) a reasonable opportunity for inspection and examination of its public records and shall provide a reasonable facility for inspection during normal business hours.
o Unless otherwise agreed to in writing by the person making the request, the Allegan District Library shall respond to a request for a public record within 5 business days after the public body receives the request by doing 1 of the following:
1. Granting the request.
2. Issuing a written notice to the requesting person denying the request.
3. Granting the request in part and issuing a written notice to the requesting individual(s) denying the request in part.
4. Issuing a notice extending for not more than 10 business days the period during which the Allegan District Library shall respond to the request. Allegan District Library shall not issue more than 1 notice of extension for a particular request. If an extension is necessary, the notice shall specify the reasons for the extension and the date by which the public body will respond.
The following types of records are maintained under the library’s control & are available for inspection:
• Monthly Financial Statements
• Annual Reports & Audits
• Budget & Appropriation Reports
• Operating Budgets
• Minutes of the Board Meetings
• Library Policies
• Bids & Specifications
FOIA Fee Structure
o Pursuant with FOIA, the Allegan District Library may charge a fee for public record search, the necessary copying of a public record for inspection, or for providing a copy of the public record, which specifies:
i. 20 cents per page (if commercial facility to be used)
ii. 15 cents per page (single sided)
iii. 20 cents per page (double sided)
iv. 25 cents per page legal (single sided)
v. 30 cents per page legal (double sided)
vi. $15.00 per flash drive or CD
a. Envelopes (small size) 10 cents each plus postage
b. Envelopes (large size) 50 cents each plus postage
3. Hourly rate of the FOIA Coordinator
a. If the anticipated charges for a requested record will exceed $50.00, a “good faith” deposit of one half of the total anticipated charges shall be required.
a. If an individual submits an affidavit stating that he/she is receiving public assistance or is able to state facts showing inability to pay fees because of indigence, a copy of the public record will be furnished without charge for the first $25 of a fee for each request.
o The FOIA Coordinator may charge a fee for the cost involved with searching for, examining, or reviewing a public record, and the deletion and separation of exempt from nonexempt information, when it results in an unreasonably high cost to the Library. The fee may include the cost of labor for searching for, examining, or reviewing a public record, and the deletion and separation of exempt from nonexempt information, in response to a request for the inspection of a public record or a request for copies of a public record as permitted by FOIA. In that determination, the FOIA Coordinator shall consider the following factors on a case-by-case basis:
a) Volume of public record requested;
b) The time frame for the records requested;
c) Complexity of searching for, examining, reviewing a public record, and the deletion and separation of exempt from non-exempt information;
d) The need to search for, examine, and review public records from different departments, commissions, boards, or committees of the Library;
e) The anticipated hours of labor;
f) The available staffing for responding to the request;
g) Any other similar factors designated by the FOIA Coordinator.