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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Attorney General Releases Report for Sunshine Week

With Chicago experiencing summer-like temperatures this week, it seems appropriate to post a story about "Sunshine Week."  Sunshine Week was founded by the American Society of News Editors and is recognized every March.  In honor of Sunshine Week this year, Attorney General Lisa Madigan just released details of the more than 5,100 matters before the Public Access Counselor in 2011.  The office of the Public Access Counselor is responsible for responding to complaints filed by members of the public and media against public bodies concerning FOIA and Open Meetings Act disputes. 

A summary of the Attorney General's report is below: 

2011 Public Access Bureau Activities:
  • 5,164 total new matters received by the Public Access Bureau:
    • 4,485 of those matters were closed resulting in a closure rate of 87 percent.
  • 2,561 requests for PAC review from those who were denied records under FOIA:
    • 2,000 from members of the public,
    • 171 from the media, and
    • 390 from other entities.
  • 286 requests for PAC review regarding OMA violations:
    • 229 from members of the public,
    • 12 from the media,
    • 45 from other entities
  • 2,317 requests from public bodies for pre-authorization to deny records under a FOIA request. (Note: pre-authorization requests were eliminated on Aug. 26, 2011, by Public Act 97-579.)
  • 28,829 people registered with the Attorney General’s office for online training about the state’s Sunshine Laws.
You can obtain more information about the Public Access Counselor's activities on the Attorney General's website.


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