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September 30, 2022

State Agency's Gross Disregard For Open Records Law –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On February 24, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, IL. (ECWd) –

  For The Good of Illinois logo
60% of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Officers 
Ignored Mandated Training and Certification
Quinn Administration | Major State Agencies

read zip file of all agency responses here

“Increasing government openness and accountability

…will make Illinois a stronger, more ethical state.”
Governor Pat Quinn | July 19, 2012
Governor’s Office of Management and Budget
FOIA Officers Ignore State Law (2010-2014)

Not In Compliance- Review Response Here
Attorney General Ignores Violations of Mandatory Annual
Training and Certification of State FOIA Officers.

read the law here
GROSS DISREGARD FOR OPEN RECORDS LAW:
Recent requests to see the FOIA officer training and certifications at the 34 major state agencies listed on the Attorney General’s website: 60% were not current and violating mandatory state law.
 
Healthcare and Family Services have two officers and both were out-of-compliance with the law for four years.

Prison Review Board– FOIA Officer and General Counsel Ken Tupy was four years out-of-compliance- trained in 2010. Then, Tupy delayed the request for five extra days.

Department of Labor has three officers and all were out-of-compliance with the law.
Environmental Protection Agency has two officers and all were out-of-compliance with the law.
 
Human Rights Commission was out-of-compliance for the last four years.

Other major agencies not in compliance:

State Board of Education; Dept. Of Corrections; Racing Board; Commerce Commission; Prisoner Review Board; Dept. of Human Services; Gaming Board; Dept. of Transportation; Dept. of Employment Security; Environmental Protection Agency; Dept. of Labor; Dept. of Natural Resources; Human Rights Commission; Student Assistance Commission; and Housing Development Authority.

Why is this important?

State FOIA officers decide what information can be released or withheld under open records law. But, the officers themselves were violating the Act. They were not trained or certified and thus not qualified.
How can the Attorney General enforce FOIA law on smaller public bodies, when she’s not enforcing the law on state government?
Governor Pat Quinn claims governance by an “Open Operating Standard.” Yet, his administration grossly neglected the most basic training and certification requirements. Every non-compliant officer should be removed from FOIA duties and terminated if FOIA is their only duty.
Caught red-handed:  requests were filed on February 1, 2014; before responding, all FOIA officers completed training and updated their certifications. Many thanks to John Kraft at IllinoisLeaks.com for filing the requests.

 

ADAM ANDRZEJEWSKI
Founder & Chairman, For The Good of Illinois
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