Freedom of Information Act
The Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was revised effective January 1, 2010. The revised FOIA promotes transparency and accountability of public bodies at all levels of government. The new act states "It is a fundamental obligation of government to operate openly and provide public records as expediently and efficiently as possible in compliance with this Act." The presumption is that all records in custody or possession of a public body are presumed to be open to inspection or copying.
Requests for public records will normally be processed within 5 business days. Day 1 of the 5-day timeline is the first business day after the request is received. Under certain circumstances, the time period may be extended for an additional 5 business days. If the request is a commercial request, the response time is 21 days.
CMAP policy is that FOIA requests are to be in writing. A sample FOIA request form is available here. If appropriate, the requester may need to provide information to determine if the records requested are for commercial purpose or whether to grant a request for a fee waiver. All requests for record inspection and copying received by CMAP will be forwarded to its FOIA officer.
If the person making the request would like to look at a file at the CMAP office, a meeting time and date can be arranged through the Freedom of Information Officer. Persons reviewing files will be provided a notepad and pencils by CMAP for their review. No carrying cases, purses, etc. will be allowed in the reviewing room. If photocopies are needed, the person making the request should identify records to be photocopied.
- Black and white, letter or legal size copies (8 ½ x 11 or 11 x 14), the first 50 pages are free. Additional pages cost $0.15 per page.
- For color copies or abnormal size copies, the actual cost of copying will be charged.
CMAP may waive or reduce copying fees if disclosure is in the public interest. For example, a waiver or reduction may be available if:
- The request is for information on the health, safety and welfare or the legal rights of the general public
- There is an intent to disseminate the information; or
- No personal or commercial benefit will be received from documents disclosure.
If the request is denied, it must be in writing and must state the basis for the denial. The Attorney General's office must be notified of the intent to deny. The requester has the right to appeal to the Attorney General's Public Access Counselor regarding the denial or may file a civil action in the circuit court regarding the alleged violation.
For more information about the Illinois FOIA, select this link to the website of the Illinois Attorney General. Topics such as those listed below are posted:
- Ensuring Open and Honest Government
- Forms and Sample Letters including a FOIA Request Form for the General Public
- Educational Materials such as
- FOIA Frequently Asked Questions for Members of the Public
- FOIA Frequently Asked Questions for Public Bodies
- Illinois FOIA Statute
For access to the public records of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, please submit your request in writing to:
Jon Hallas, FOIA Officer
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP)
233 S. Wacker Dr., Suite 800
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (312) 454-0400
Fax: (312) 454-0411
Email: Freedom of Information Officer, email@example.com