Freedom of Information Act Request

Freedom of Information Act Request

Policy Statement:  The City of Georgetown recognizes the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act (§ 30-4-10 et. seq., S.C. Code as amended, “FOIA”) ensures citizens’ rights to attend government meetings and obtain official documents and records. To ensure public transparency and compliance with the FOIA, the City has standardized the procedures for processing FOIA requests and established reasonable fees and rates for such requests.

Making a Request:    All requests for information pursuant to the FOIA must be made in writing and may be submitted in person, electronically by email, by mail, or by fax.  In order to provide the most accurate response, all requests should be as specific as possible, and identify the form that is convenient and practical for use by the requestor. In order to assist citizens, the City developed the attached Freedom of Information Act Request for Public Records forms, which are voluntary and may be submitted by any method outlined above.

The Administration Department is responsible for maintaining FOIA request records. FOIA requests submitted to any City department are marked with a date of receipt and forwarded to the Administration Department, per policy. Requests should be submitted to the attention of:

Police Department Requests

All Other Requests

Georgetown City Police Department

FOIA Compliance

2222 Highmarket Street

Georgetown, SC 29440

gpdfoiarequest@cogsc.com

Fax: (843) 520-5848

Clerk to Council, City Hall

FOIA Compliance

P.O. Drawer 939

Georgetown, SC 29442

cityfoiarequest@cogsc.com

Fax: (843) 527-6173

A citizen need not make a FOIA request for the following, available on request for inspection and copying:

  1. 1. Minutes of the meeting of a public body for the preceding six (6) months.
  1. 2. Law enforcement reports within the fourteen (14) days preceding the current day related to the nature, location, and substance of an alleged crime (except juvenile records).
  1. 3. Documents identifying individuals confined to the detention center or jail in the past three (3) months (except juvenile records).
  1. 4. Documents produced by the public body or its agent that were distributed to or reviewed by a member of the public body during a public meeting for the preceding six-months.
  1. 5. Any data subject to FOIA that is readily available, or available on www.cogsc.com OR www.municode.com, although such records will be produced upon request.

Timeline:  The City will respond to every request within ten (10) working days for records created in the last two years, and within twenty (20) working days for records older than that. The response will indicate the deposit required, if any. Where no deposit or minimum charge is required, the City will produce responsive records within thirty (30) calendar days of initial response. When a deposit or minimum charge is required, the City will prepare for delivery responsive records created within the last two years within thirty (30) calendar days of receipt of deposit, and thirty five (35) calendar days of receipt of deposit for records older than that. If the City determines these deadlines need to be extended to fulfill the request, the City will contact the requestor in a timely manner to seek consent for a mutually agreeable extension in writing.

Age of Records

Response Due

<24 months

10 days

>24 months

20 days

 

Fee Class of Records

Production Due

No fee

30 days from Initial Response

Deposit required (<24 months)

30 days from deposit receipt

Deposit required (>24 months)

35 days from deposit receipt

Fees:  The City Council approved a Freedom of Information Act Fee Schedule which may be found at www.cogsc.com. The City may collect a deposit not to exceed 25 percent of the reasonably anticipated cost for reproduction of the records. The records will be produced in the format requested -if any- if it is equally convenient for the City to provide the records in that form, and furnished at the lowest possible cost to the requestor where possible; however, the City is not required to make an electronic copy where one does not exist. The City charges the prevailing commercial rate for reproduction of records and a standard employee rate for searching for, retrieving, redacting, and copying records per the Fee Schedule. Fees are not charged for reviewing records for exemption. Necessary third party expenses (e.g. outside print shop expenses) will be billed at actual cost. Per state law, any balance must be paid at the time of delivery/production.

The City Administrator may waive or reduce fees at his discretion.

Fees may be paid by credit card or check, to the attention of the City of Georgetown Revenues Manager, P.O. Drawer 939, Georgetown, SC 29442 or (843) 545-4007.

CERTAIN INFORMATION IN PUBLIC RECORDS MAY BE EXEMPT FROM DISCLOSURE UNDER THE FOIA OR OTHER PROVISIONS OF STATE OR FEDERAL LAW AND MAY BE REDACTED FROM RECORDS PRODUCED.

S.C. LAW PROVIDES IT IS A CRIME TO OBTAIN OR USE PERSONAL INFORMATION PROVIDED BY A PUBLIC BODY FOR COMMERCIAL SOLICITATION.

Police Freedom of Information Act Request

ACCEPT          DECLINE

Standard Freedom of Information Act Request

ACCEPT          DECLINE