(5 ILCS 140/3)
(from Ch. 116, par. 203)
(a) Each public body shall make available to any person for
inspection or copying all public records, except as otherwise provided in
Sections 7 and 8.5 of this Act.
Notwithstanding any other law, a public body may not grant to any person
or entity, whether by contract, license, or otherwise, the exclusive right to
access and disseminate any public record as defined in this Act.
(b) Subject to the fee provisions of Section 6 of this Act, each public
body shall promptly provide, to any person who submits a request,
a copy of any public record required to be disclosed
by subsection (a) of this Section and shall certify such copy if so requested.
(c) Requests for inspection or copies shall be made in writing and directed to the public body. Written requests may be submitted to a public body via personal delivery, mail, telefax, or other means available to the public body. A public body may honor oral requests for inspection or copying. A public body may not require that a request be submitted on a standard form or require the requester to specify the purpose for a request, except to determine whether the records are requested for a commercial purpose or whether to grant a request for a fee waiver. All requests for inspection and copying received by a public body shall immediately be forwarded to its Freedom of Information officer or designee.
(d) Each public body shall, promptly, either comply with or deny a
request for public records within 5 business days after its receipt of the request, unless the time for response is properly extended under subsection (e) of this Section. Denial
shall be in writing as provided in Section 9 of this Act. Failure to comply with
a written request, extend the time for response, or deny a request within 5 business days after its receipt shall be considered a
denial of the request. A public body that fails to respond to a request within the requisite periods in this Section but thereafter provides the requester with copies of the requested public records may not impose a fee for such copies. A public body that fails to respond to a request received may not treat the request as unduly burdensome under subsection (g).
(e) The time for response under this Section may be
extended by the public body for not more than 5 business days from the original due date for any
of the following reasons:
(i) the requested records are stored in whole or in
part at other locations than the office having charge of the requested records;
(ii) the request requires the collection of a
substantial number of specified records;
(iii) the request is couched in categorical terms and
requires an extensive search for the records responsive to it;
(iv) the requested records have not been located in
the course of routine search and additional efforts are being made to locate them;
(v) the requested records require examination and
evaluation by personnel having the necessary competence and discretion to determine if they are exempt from disclosure under Section 7 of this Act or should be revealed only with appropriate deletions;
(vi) the request for records cannot be complied with
by the public body within the time limits prescribed by subsection (d) of this Section without unduly burdening or interfering with the operations of the public body;
(vii) there is a need for consultation, which shall
be conducted with all practicable speed, with another public body or among 2 or more components of a public body having a substantial interest in the determination or in the subject matter of the request.
The person making a request and the public body may agree in writing to extend the time for compliance for a period to be determined by the parties. If the requester and the public body agree to extend the period for compliance, a failure by the public body to comply with any previous deadlines shall not be treated as a denial of the request for the records.
(f) When additional time is required for any of the above reasons, the
public body shall, within 5 business days after receipt of the request, notify the person making the request of the reasons
for the extension and the date by which the response will be forthcoming. Failure to respond within the time permitted for extension shall be considered a denial of the request. A public body that fails to respond to a request within the time permitted for extension but thereafter provides the requester with copies of the requested public records may not impose a fee for those copies. A public body that requests an extension and subsequently fails to respond to the request may not treat the request as unduly burdensome under subsection (g).
(g) Requests calling for all records falling within a category shall be
complied with unless compliance with the request would be unduly burdensome
for the complying public body and there is no way to narrow the request and the
burden on the public body outweighs the public interest in the information.
Before invoking this exemption, the public body shall extend to the person
making the request an opportunity to confer with it in an attempt to reduce
the request to manageable proportions. If any public body responds to a categorical
request by stating that compliance would unduly burden its operation and
the conditions described above are met, it shall do so in writing, specifying
the reasons why it would be unduly burdensome and the extent to which compliance
will so burden the operations of the public body. Such a response shall
be treated as a denial of the
request for information.
Repeated requests from the same person for the same records that are unchanged or identical to records previously provided or properly denied under this Act shall be deemed unduly burdensome under this provision.
(h) Each public body may promulgate rules and regulations in conformity
with the provisions of this Section pertaining to the availability of records
and procedures to be followed, including:
(i) the times and places where such records will be
(ii) the persons from whom such records may be
(i) The time periods for compliance or denial of a request to inspect or copy records set out in this Section shall not apply to requests for records made for a commercial purpose, requests by a recurrent requester, or voluminous requests. Such requests shall be subject to the provisions of Sections 3.1, 3.2, and 3.6 of this Act, as applicable.
(Source: P.A. 101-81, eff. 7-12-19.)