Freedom of Information Act

What is FOIA?

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a state statute that provides the public the right to access government documents and records. The premise behind FOIA is that the public has a right to know what the government is doing. The law provides that a person can ask a public body for a copy of its records on a specific subject, and the public body must provide those records unless there is an exemption in the statute that protects those records from disclosure (for example, records containing information concerning trade secrets or personal privacy).

The Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is designed to ensure that Illinois residents can obtain information about their government. Beginning on January 1, 2010, key changes to the Freedom of Information Act will take effect and, in turn, will provide Illinois residents with a more open and accountable government. The following is an overview of the key changes: Click here for full requirements regarding making an FOIA request.

Lawrence County Health Department
Lawrence County Health Department

Are there fees for requests?

  • Provisions of the FOIA allow us to recover part of the cost of complying with your request. Fees are assessed according to 2010 FOIA guidelines: Black and White Copies (8½ x 11): The first 50 pages are free. Any additional pages can cost no more than 15 cents per page. Color Copies or Abnormal Size Copies: Actual cost of copying. Other recording medium (Example: CDs, thumb drives, etc.): Actual cost of purchasing the recording medium. 

What Information cannot be released?

  • Any information considered private or protected under HIPAA laws cannot and will not be released.

FOIA Request

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