Illinois FOIA - June 30th FOIA Officer Training Deadline Approaching

Illinois' newly revised Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) took effect on January 1.  The law is designed to help foster transparency and accountability in government, and numerous changes were made to that end.  One such change was the requirement that every Illinois public body appoint one or more "Freedom of Information Officers" (FOIA Officers) who are to receive, process, and respond to FOIA requests submitted to the public body.  FOIA Section 3.5.   The law requires that all FOIA Officers complete a mandatory initial training program with the Attorney General's Office by June 30, 2010.  The Attorney General's Office has provided an online registration portal for FOIA Officers, from which the FOIA Officers can complete the required training online.  Interested members of the public can also access FOIA training at this site.  After the initial program, FOIA officers are required to complete additional training annually.

There are numerous small public entities in Illinois, and many may not be aware of this requirement.  If you work with such an entity, please make sure they are aware of the deadline so they can comply with the requirement.

Nate Hinch is an attorney and partner at the law firm of Mueller, Reece & Hinch, LLC.  He has offices at 404 N. Hershey Road, Suite C, Bloomington, IL 61704, and 809 Detweiller Drive, Peoria, IL 61615, and can be reached by phone at (309) 827-4055 and email at nhinch@mrh-law.com.

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