Macomb, IL – The panelists continue their discussion about the new law to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act in Illinois.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan says the new law is already beginning to increase transparency in Illinois government.
In a news release, her office reports: "From January 1, 2010, when the new law took effect, through March 10, 2010, the Public Access Counselor has received 394 requests from public bodies for authorization to assert the personal privacy and draft exemptions in FOIA. Under the new law, if a public body plans to deny access to information by asserting that the information is exempt from disclosure under the personal privacy or draft exemptions, it must first seek authorization from the Public Access Counselor. This new provision in the law allows the PAC to carefully review the use of two of the most frequently cited exemptions to public disclosure."
Madigan's office created a dedicated hotline and e-mail address to reach the Public Access Bureau. Anyone seeking assistance from the Public Access Bureau can call the Public Access Hotline at 1-877-299-FOIA (3642) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Attorney General's web site also offers extensive educational materials on FOIA and OMA (the Open Meetings Act), including Frequently Asked Questions about FOIA and OMA and a Guide to the work of the Public Access Counselor.