FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT
following policy adopted by Whitefish Township is to comply with the Michigan
Freedom of Information Act.
Michigan Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides that all persons, except
those persons incarcerated in state or local correctional facilities, are
entitled to full and complete information regarding the affairs of government
and the official acts of those who represent them as public officials and
requests shall be in writing and preferably on the form adopted by this Policy.
request must sufficiently describe the public record to enable the FOIA
Coordinator to identify the requested public record and must be signed by the
person requesting the public record. Upon
receipt of a FOIA request, the request shall be date stamped and times
calculated for response. The employee
receiving the written request, after recording the date received on the
request, shall promptly forward the request to the FOIA Coordinator, which
shall make an initial determination concerning the request.
1. All requests shall be
referred to the FOIA Coordinator within one business day of receipt.
2. All requests shall be
responded to by the FOIA Coordinator within five business days of receipt of the request (six business days
if the request is received by fax).
personal and private information shall be redacted from the materials being
furnished prior to their release. The
redacted information includes, but is not limited to: driver's license number,
street address, date of birth, social security number, and telephone number. This information shall be redacted to protect
the individual's right to privacy, as such information may be required by
Whitefish Township, but is furnished with the expectation that only Whitefish
Township shall have the right to access and use it. Under some circumstances
the FOIA Coordinator may determine that some of this redacted information can
be furnished, but only upon written request, or by order of a court of
submitted to the FOIA Coordinator shall be date stamped upon receipt. The FOIA Coordinator shall review the request,
and issue a written notice to the requesting party within the time proscribed,
doing one of the following:
1. Granting the request.
2. Denying the request.
3. Granting the request
in part and denying the request in part.
4. Extending for not more
than ten business days theperiod during which Whitefish Township shall respond to the
request. Only one notice of extension
for a particular request may be
FOIA Coordinator shall keep written requests on file for one year. Failure to respond to the request constitutes
a denial of the request. Response to
FOIA requests shall contain the statutory language as set forth in the notice
Township shall furnish the requesting person with a reasonable opportunity for
inspection and examination of public records and furnish reasonable facilities
for making memoranda or abstracts from public records available during normal
business hours. The FOIA Coordinator
shall provide a certified copy of a public record if a person requests the same
Whitefish Township nor the FOIA Coordinator is obligated to create a record,
list, compilation, or summary of information that does not already exist. This includes analyzing, compiling, or
summarizing existing information into a new format.
Whitefish Township nor the FOIA Coordinator is obligated to provide answers to
oral or written questions. Any person
examining public records shall bring to the examination only an erasable pencil
with which to make notes or lists. No
pens or indelible writing instruments are allowed. No notes or writing of any
kind shall be made on the documents themselves.
In the event the inspection is of the original records, the Whitefish
Township shall provide a monitor to ensure protection of the public records.
order to defray the cost to Whitefish Township of having the records review
monitored by Whitefish Township personnel, a fee shall be paid to the Whitefish
Township for personnel time as provided in this Policy. Except as otherwise provided by statute or
ordinance, the Whitefish Township shall charge and receive a fee for public
records search, for inspection of public records, and for providing a copy of
public records according to the following schedule:
1. Copies of documents
provided shall be at the rate of ten cents ($.10) per page for each page.
2. Personnel time,
including search, examination, review and the deletion and separation of exempt from non-exempt
information, shall be for the actual time spent calculated on the hourly wage of the lowest paid
Whitefish Township employee in the department where the records are kept who is capable of retrieving
the information necessary to comply with the request
under this Act.
3. Actual mailing costs
FOIA Coordinator shall have the administrative authority to require that all
charges associated with the processing of a FOIA request be paid in full before
releasing any public records. Fees may
be reduced or waived by the FOIA Coordinator if the waiver or reduction is in
the public interest because the request will primarily benefit the general
public. Fees may be waived by the FOIA
Coordinator up to the first $10 for each individual entitled. Fees may be waived upon a showing of factors
showing inability to pay. All such
requests shall be in writing and shall be sworn to by the person requesting the
made by the FOIA Coordinator under this Policy may be appealed in writing to
the Whitefish Township Board. Decisions
of the Whitefish Township Board may be appealed to any court of competent jurisdiction.
The Supervisor of Whitefish Township is hereby designated to be the FOIA
Coordinator for Whitefish Township.
Upon receiving a verbal
request to inspect township records, the township shall furnish the requesting
person with a reasonable opportunity and reasonable facilities for inspection
and examination of its public records.
A person shall be allowed
to inspect public records during usual business hours, not less than four hours
per day. The public does not have unlimited access to township offices or
facilities, and a person may be required to inspect records at a specified
counter or table, and in view of township personnel.
appointees, staff or consultants/contractors assisting with inspection of
public records shall inform any person inspecting records that only pencils,
and no pens or ink, may be used to take notes.
In coordination with the
official responsible for the records, the FOIA coordinator shall determine on a
case-by-case basis when the township will provide copies of original records,
to allow for blacking out exempt information, to protect old or delicate
original records, or because the original record is a digital file or database
not available for public inspection.
The (clerk, FOIA
coordinator, other) is responsible for identifying if records or
information requested by the public is stored in digital files or e-mail, even
if the public does not specifically request a digital file or e-mail.
A person cannot remove
books, records or files from the place the township has provided for the
No documents shall be
removed from the office of the custodian of those documents without permission
of that custodian, except by court order, subpoena or for audit purposes. The
official shall be given a receipt listing the records being removed. Documents
may be removed from the office of the custodian of those documents with
permission of that custodian to accommodate public inspection of those
In coordination with the
official responsible for the records, the FOIA coordinator will determine (by
policy, on a case-by-case basis, or both) when the township will provide
copies of original records, to allow for blacking out exempt information, to
protect old or delicate original records, or because the original record is a
digital file or database not available for public inspection.
Optional: A fee will be charged for copies
made to enable public inspection of records, according to the township’s FOIA