In accordance with the Act, the Bremen Township will respond to all non-commercial requests within five (5) working days of receipt. Responses will be provided to any commercial requests within twenty-one (21) working days of receipt. In processing requests for records made under the Act, the Township shall give priority first to any non-commercial requests pending before it. The Township must respond in one of the following methods:
Approval of Request
If the requested records are available and determined to be non-exempt, the Township will advise the requester of the documents which are available and the cost to copy the records. For commercial requests, the Township response will include an estimate of the time required to locate and compile the records requested, as well as the estimated fees to be assessed to the requester.
If the requester has asked to inspect the documents, the Township will provide the requester with notice of a time and location in which the inspection will be conducted during normal business hours at the Township’s administrative offices unless another location is otherwise agreed upon by the Township and the requester. The Township may require that an officer or employee of the Township be present during any inspection of public records. A requester may also be prohibited from bringing bags, brief cases, or other containers into the room in which the inspection takes place. Documents made available for inspection will be held for fourteen (14) working days from the date of the Township’s response and thereafter will be re-filed.
Fees for copies of records, unless waived, must be paid prior to inspection, and copying. All copying of documents shall be done by an officer or employee of the Township. Upon written request, the Township will mail copies of public records to the requester. Upon written request, the Township will email or fax copies of public records to the requester unless emailing or faxing the records is not practical due to the number of pages being provided in response to the request.
Extension of Time
Notice of Extension
Under certain circumstances, the Freedom of Information Act permits the Township to provide notice of an extension of time for response to a request. This time period shall not exceed an additional five (5) working days or a total of ten (10) working days from the receipt of the original request. Any notice of extension must cite the reason why the extension is necessary.
Agreement by Requester and the Township to an Extension of Time
The requester and the Township may agree in writing to extend the time for compliance for a period to be determined by the parties. If the requester and the Township agree to extend the period for compliance, a failure by the Township to comply with any previous deadlines shall not be treated as a denial of the request for records.
Denial of Request
Any denial of any part of a request shall be made in writing and shall state the reason(s) for the denial in accordance with Section 3(g), or if the record is determined to be exempt, pursuant to Section 7 of the Freedom of Information Act.
Section 3(g) of the Act allows the Township to deny a request for a category of records if compliance with the request would place an undue burden upon the Township. Before denying a request on the basis of a Section 3(g) exemption the Township will contact the requester to offer him/her an opportunity to confer with the Township in an attempt to reduce the scope of the request to a manageable proportion. Any denial pursuant to Section 3(g) shall specify the reason(s) why it would be unduly burdensome to the Township, and the extent to which the burden upon the operation of the Township outweigh the public interest in the requested information. Repeated requests for the same public records by the same person shall be deemed unduly burdensome and shall be denied accordingly.
Section 7 of the Act enumerates a series of records that are considered exempt from public disclosure and, therefore, need not be produced by the Township.
All full or partial denials of a FOIA request shall include the itemized “Denial Information” set forth below in Section 6 of these Rules and Regulations in the written response to the requester. In accordance with the provisions of the Act, copies of all denials shall be retained by the FOIA Officer and will be indexed according to the type of exemption asserted and, to the extent feasible, according to the type of records requested.