How do I submit a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request?
There is no required form, but your FOIA request should be in writing. To ensure the most accurate and prompt response, requests should be as detailed, specific, and descriptive as possible.
Can I get the information I need without filing a written FOIA request?
Check the documents page to see if the information is available on the town’s website. If not, you may contact the town hall to ask if the information is available without a formal request. Minutes of meetings for the preceding six months will be made available without a written request when the person seeking access or copies appears in person. S.C. Code Ann. § 30-4-30(d)(1).
How long will it take to get a response?
Public bodies must respond to a written FOIA request in a timely fashion but no longer than 10 business days unless the requested record is more than 24 months old, in which case the deadline is 20 business days. If no response is received within the set limits, the request must be considered granted for nonexempt records or information. An oral request will not trigger the deadline by which the town must respond to the request.
How long will it take to get the records?
The law requires the public body to produce the requested records within 30 calendar days from the date it initially responds that the request will be fulfilled. When the public body requires a deposit, it must produce the records within 30 days of receiving the deposit. If the records are more than 24 months old, the deadline is 35 days.
What kinds of records are not required to be disclosed under the FOIA?
Public bodies in South Carolina can withhold certain specific records. Exemptions are discretionary, and these exemptions must be interpreted narrowly to increase awareness of all citizens of government activities. Exemptions include:
Is certain information specified as open to the public without question?
Yes. Most importantly, any information taken from an account, voucher, or contract dealing with the receipt or expenditure of public funds is specified in the law as open. Also specified as open are names of employees, staff manuals and instructions, minutes of meetings, and law enforcement reports on crimes.
Where can I find out more information about FOIA requests?
Click here to read the Citizen’s Guide to FOIA Requests.
The Town of Pacolet FOIA Request Fee Schedule
Pursuant to S.C. Code Ann. §30-4-30(B), fulfillment of FOIA requests is subject to fees for search, retrieval, and redaction, as well as fees for providing copies of documents. A deposit of twenty-five (25%) percent of the total reasonably anticipated cost for fulfilling the request may be required before searching for or making copies of records. The full amount of the total cost must be paid at the time of the production of the request.
|Search, retrieval, and redaction of records (no less than a 30-minute charge)||Actual hourly salary of the lowest-paid employee who has the training and skill to respond to the request|
|Black-and-white photocopies (8.5” X 11” or smaller)||$ 0.20 per Page|
|Photocopies Plotter/Large Format Copies of Plans||$ 6.00 per Page|
|CD Copy||$ 5.00 per Disc|
|Flash Drive||$12.00 each|
|Large quantities or oversized documents will be sent to an outside business for copying which charges the requestor the actual dollar amount for work.||TBD|