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The information requested may have been destroyed in the ordinary course of business, may not exist, or could be confidential. An example of this instance is where a call by a PAC staff member to the public body confirms that the one redaction in a report was a Social Security number. The fact that a FOIA requester is not satisfied with the records that have been furnished to him or her does not amount to a denial.
Applying the formula to the statewide numbers above yields a statewide violation rate of approximately 30 percent:. At 43 percent, therefore, the Chicago Police Department is among the top offenders for public bodies that improperly claimed FOIA exemptions. It is important to remember that this is a subset of the actual number of FOIA requests that are sent to the PAC Office for review, and an even smaller subset of the number of FOIA requests received by each public body over the years.
In many instances, requesters do not seek review by the PAC. The number of exemption violations could be far greater, but that statistical analysis could only be completed if every person whose FOIA request had ever been denied by the Chicago Police Department sent it for review to the PAC Office. In addition, the number of CPD exemption violations determined by the PAC make up a small percentage when compared to the total number of FOIA requests received by the Chicago Police Department over the years—which is well into the thousands. If a public body does not respond to a FOIA request within 5 business days, it amounts to a denial of that request, according to the law.
While a public body can ask the requester for an extension of the deadline by an additional 5 business days, that request must be asserted within the original 5-day timeline — not after it has already expired. There were 4, instances in which the PAC Office found that the public body had not responded to a FOIA request and responded only after the PAC had reviewed the request and prompted the public body to do so by sending a letter of further inquiry. As noted above, in our list of the top 5 public bodies that initially failed to respond to requests — and only responded after the PAC intervened — the Chicago Police Department ranked the highest with requests that lacked a timely response.
The Act does create exceptions to disclosure, but those exceptions are to be read narrowly. In reality, the PAC has informed us that some of these may have been unfounded for other reasons, such as where a requester objected to the accuracy of the information in the records, which is not a basis for an RFR.
Because the PAC did not separately track exemption-based entries and others, we included them all as a substantive finding of an exemption properly asserted, which means that the violation rates are likely higher than we have reported here. A slew of democratic socialists now sit on the Chicago City Council. How did that happen, and what does that mean for city politics?
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Civic Engagement. By Annum Haider. Key finding 2: Some public bodies improperly deny records more than half the time The BGA examined the frequency with which public bodies claimed a FOIA exemption that was found to be improper from April 6, , to March 15, The PAC dataset could be referring to any number of OMA violations and does not indicate whether the violation in question referred to one of the following, for instance: Whether a public body improperly went into closed session Whether a public body provided adequate notice of the meeting Whether a public body allowed public comment Whether the meeting was held in circumstances that were convenient to the public Failure to disclose minutes of meeting Failure to conduct the meeting in an adequate place Between April and March , the PAC Office reviewed OMA requests and found that public bodies violated the Open Meetings Act approximately 42 percent of the time.
More from Civic Engagement What the Gov. Aug 8, AM. But the unredacted version provided to The News-Gazette doesn't shed much more light on how Mr. Pendleton died, whether by SWAT teams or a self-inflicted shot. An example of the same page from the two versions of the report is below. Move the slider to switch between them:.
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About 7 a. Pendleton was spotted and more shooting ensued. Some officers said they believed Mr. Pendleton was shooting at a medical helicopter that was approaching. After officers saw more movement in the house, they shot again into the house and eventually heard nothing else. In an interview with a lieutenant, one officer said that over the course of the gun battle, he "shot 18 rounds from his issued M-4 rifle, performed a reload, and fired an additional 4 rounds.
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