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Freedom of Information Requests

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is the principal Illinois statutory enactment governing the inspection of public records. This Act guarantees access to thousands of documents and records generated by the state and local governmental bodies. Specifically, it provides the public with a mechanism to observe government in action and to monitor the actions that government takes. In order to properly comply with this Act, the City of Geneva has developed the following guidelines.

Who has the right to inspect public records?
Any individual, corporation, partnership, firm or organization, acting individually or as a group has the right to inspect public records.

What information must be made available?
Full and complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts and policies of those who represent them. Basically, all records having been prepared, or having been used, received, possessed or under the control of the City must be made available unless the Act provides a specific exemption from disclosure. The City's obligation is to provide a requesting party with records in the form in which they are originally kept, regardless of physical form (hard copy, microfilm, tape recordings, cards, photographs, electronic data processing records, etc.). If the records are in an electronic format, upon request of the requestor the City will supply the records either, (1) in a different electronic format, if feasible, or (2) in paper format at the option of the requestor. The following is a non-exhaustive list of records considered "public", as of the date of this publication:

  • Administrative manuals, procedural rules
  • Final opinions and orders made in the adjudication of cases
  • Substantive rules
  • Statements and interpretations of policy adopted by any City entity
  • Final planning policies
  • Factual reports, inspection reports and studies prepared for or by the City
  • Any account, voucher or contract dealing with the receipt or expenditure of public funds
  • Names, salaries, titles and dates of employment of all employees and officers of the City
  • Materials containing opinions concerning the rights of the State, City, or any private person
  • Name of every official and the final records of voting in all proceedings of public bodies
  • Applications for any contract, permit, grant or agreement
  • Reports, documents, studies and publications prepared by independent consultants for the City
  • All information required by law
  • Any grant or contract made by or between the City and another public body or private organization


What information is exempted from public disclosure?

While the Freedom of Information Act provides for the disclosure of public information, it does recognize that in order to enable public bodies to perform certain governmental functions properly, and in order to protect personal privacy, some records and information should remain confidential. A complete listing of these exempted records and information is specified under Section 7 of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.                          

Procedure
The following information is the City of Geneva's procedure for obtaining information through the Freedom of Information Act. By following these steps, requests for information can be expedited in an effective and efficient manner.

Costs
The City of Geneva does not charge for black and white copies for the first 50 pages. The charge is 15 cents per page thereafter.

Color copies cost 15 cents per page.

Standard paper sizes are 8.5 x 11, 8.5 x 14 and 11 x 17

Additional fees apply for plat size, cds, etc.