Purpose of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
The Village of Burr Ridge, a municipality, is subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Other public bodies subject to the Act include any legislative, executive, administrative or advisory bodies of the State; state universities and colleges; counties; school districts and all other boards, bureaus, committees or commissions of the State; and any subsidiary bodies (such as committees and subcommittees) that are supported by or expend tax revenue. The judiciary is not subject to the Act, but court records and legal proceedings are generally open to the public.
The Illinois General Assembly enacted Public Act 83-1013, the short title of which is the "Freedom of Information Act," which took effect July 1, 1984. The purpose of the Act is to provide the public with greater access to the records of public bodies. The Act states that "all persons are entitled to full and complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts and policies of those who represent them as public officials and public employees . . ." Within specified limitations, the Act allows anyone to inspect and to obtain copies of all public records prepared, possessed, used by, or in the control of any public body. Anyone may obtain access to these documents, including individuals, groups, associations, corporations, firms, partnerships and organizations.
Every public body subject to the Freedom of Information Act must make their existing records available to the public. The Act does not require these bodies to answer specific questions, create new records, or keep a central library or index of all government records. If you are not sure which public body has the information you seek, begin by calling the public bodies with names or responsibilities related to your topic. This may help you identify the appropriate source. Public bodies must have a list of the types or categories of records in their possession. They must also have a description of how to request a record and a directory of the employees assigned to process disclosure requests for that body. If no one is available to answer your questions over the telephone, the directory should be on display in each administrative or regional office of the body. The list of records should be available to be copied, and can be requested through the mail.
Information Available Under the FOIA
Village records available under the Act are orders, rules, policy statements, planning policies and decisions, reports or studies, public contracts, the names, titles and salaries of public employees, and the voting records of the Village.