4.5-1 FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT COMPLIANCE POLICY
This policy provides the manner in which Saginaw Valley State University (the "University") will comply with the provisions of the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, MCLA 15.231, et seq, ("FOIA") regarding access to certain public records.
Identification of FOIA Officer
The President of the University, as the chief administrative officer, may designate a University FOIA Officer ("FOIA Officer") who shall have responsibility to disseminate certain public records upon request as provided by law. The FOIA Officer may designate department heads or other University officials to deal with such requests as appropriate, except that only the FOIA Officer, or another individual specifically so authorized by the FOIA Officer, shall have the authority to deny a request for records. The University officials responsible for requested records shall comply with requests to inspect, copy or release copies of records in accordance with applicable law.
If the FOIA Officer or designee makes a final determination to deny a request in whole or in part, notice of the denial shall be provided to the requesting party as required by FOIA.
As provided in MCLA 15.240, a person may appeal to the University President a final determination by the FOIA Officer to deny all or a portion of a request made under FOIA.
- Initiating an Appeal
To perfect an appeal, the person must submit a written statement to the President. The written statement must (1) identify the request and final determination being appealed, (2) specifically state the word "appeal", and (3) identify the reason or reasons why the FOIA Officer's final determination should be reversed as required under MCLA 15.240(1)(a). The President shall not consider an appeal submitted more than 180 days after the FOIA Officer issues the final determination denying all or a portion of the request.
- Time for Consideration of Appeal
The President shall decide the appeal within ten (10) business days following receipt of the written statement. Upon written notice, such period may be extended for an additional period of not more than ten (10) business days in unusual circumstances, as defined by law.
- Documents to be Considered Upon Appeal
The FOIA Officer shall submit to the President a copy of the original request and a copy of the final determination letter from the FOIA Officer for consideration by the President along with the written statement. The person making the appeal has no right to make an oral presentation to the President regarding the appeal and no hearing is required prior to the President making a decision.
- Examination of Records to Which Access was Denied by the FOIA Officer
At the request of the President, the FOIA Officer shall present the records to which access was denied for review by the President.
- Decision of the President
After consideration of the appeal, the President shall do one of the following: (1) reverse the final determination of the FOIA Officer, (2) uphold the final determination of the FOIA Officer, or (3) reverse the final determination of the FOIA Officer in part.
- Notice of Decision
Within the time noted above, the President shall issue a written notice of the decision to the person making the appeal.
- Release of Records
If the denial is reversed in whole or in part, the President shall cause the FOIA Officer, or his or her designee, to release the records affected by the decision.
- Modification to Appeal Procedure
The President is authorized to modify the Appeals Procedure provided such modifications comply with applicable provisions of FOIA.
The University may charge a fee for a record search, the necessary copying of a record for inspection, or for providing a copy of a record. The fee shall be limited to actual mailing costs, and to the actual incremental cost of duplication or publication including labor, the cost of search, examination, review, and the deletion and separation of exempt from non-exempt information.
- Reduced Fees
A search for a record may be conducted or copies of records may be furnished without charge or at a reduced charge if the FOIA Officer determines that a waiver or reduction of the fees is in the public interest because the searching for or furnishing copies of the record can be considered as primarily benefiting the general public.
A record search shall be made and a copy of a record shall be furnished without charge for the first $20.00 of the fee for each request to an individual who is entitled to information under FOIA and who submits an affidavit stating that the individual is then receiving public assistance or if not receiving public assistance, stating facts showing inability to pay the cost because of indigence.
- Calculation of Fees
In calculating the cost of labor incurred in duplication and mailing and the cost of examination, review, separation, and deletion, the University will not charge more than the hourly wage of the lowest paid University employee capable of retrieving the information necessary to comply with a request under FOIA. The University will not charge for the cost of search, examination, review, and the deletion and separation of exempt from non-exempt information unless failure to charge a fee would result in unreasonably high costs to the University and the costs are specifically identified.
The University may require at the time a request is made a good faith deposit from the person requesting the record if the fee would exceed $50.00. The deposit shall not exceed one-half (1/2) of the fee.
Adopted 8/11/97 BC