ILLINOIS (ECWd) –
Just a friendly reminder out there to local governments and public officials:
The Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor has all of its Binding Opinions since 2010 listed on its new website in separate documents for the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) and the Open Meetings Act (“OMA”).
- Index of FOIA Binding Opinions (here)
- Index of OMA Binding Opinions (here)
- FOIA Guide for Law Enforcement Records (includes opinions) (here)
For instance, here is an opinion found that states that police reports and arrest records of public officials are public records subject to FOIA (here); another one indicates that private email accounts, even on private devices are subject to FOIA when they are used to conduct public business (here); an opinion stating that secret ballots during public meetings are prohibited (here); and also that a public body must sufficiently inform the public of what they are about to vote on (here). There are many more.
This is a start for individuals wishing to learn more about the FOIA and OMA, and which information and actions are impermissible.
Other information to research is nonbinding opinions (found online or through FOIA requests to the AG’s office) and court cases (found online).