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Get​ ​to​ ​Know​ ​The​ ​Freedom​ ​of​ ​Information​ ​Act

Sep 21, 2017

You’ve heard about it on the news, maybe read about it in the newspaper. You may work with it every day and only discovered its many uses. The Freedom of Information Act is a powerful tool for citizens and businesses that want to know more about their government.

What​ ​is​ ​the​ ​Freedom​ ​of​ ​Information​ ​Act?

The Freedom of Information Act gives you the right to request information from state agencies, except information protected from disclosure. There are nine exemptions including information concerning someone’s personal privacy or national security.

Who​ ​can​ ​use​ ​the​ ​Freedom​ ​of​ ​Information​ ​Act?

Everyone. This law helps you stay in the know about your government. If you'd like to know how much your local school board spends on certain items, or how much your county is paying its current contractors, just ask.

How​ ​do​ ​you​ ​use​ ​the​ ​Freedom​ ​of​ ​Information​ ​Act?

First, check online to see if the information you're looking for is already available. If not, check the website of the state agency you're interested in to see if they have a ready made form available to make a request. You do not need a specific form; you only need to make your request in writing with a description of the information you're seeking. You can request any existing agency records in print or electronic forms.

How​ ​long​ ​does​ ​it​ ​take​ ​for​ ​a​ ​response?

State agencies are allowed 5 days to respond to your request, and can request additional time to respond to larger requests. They are usually responded to in the order that they are received.

Resources to learn more:

https://www.foia.gov/

Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act

Michigan Legislative Consultants is a bipartisan lobbying firm based in Lansing, Michigan. Our team of lobbyists and procurement specialists provide a wide range of services for some of the most respected companies in America. For more on MLC, visit www.mlcmi.com or connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter.