The Freedom of Information Act serves a vital role in American democracy. To keep government transparent, FOIA requires government agencies to disclose information and records as requested by the public, unless the request falls under certain exclusions.

Public agencies failing to comply with a valid FOIA request may face fines between $2,500 to $5,000 for each violation under the Act.

To help local city and county officials understand how to implement this policy at local levels and avoid violations, Christopher Boggs, supervising attorney with the Illinois Attorney General’s office, will review FOIA policy in Illinois, examine common scenarios in which violations may occur, and recap recent and continuing changes within the new context of COVID-19 in a signature Local Government Education series from University of Illinois Extension.

Participation is free for the May 20 online event at noon (CT). Register in advance to receive joining details: go.illinois.edu/FOIA. Attending the live webinar will be the only way to access this presentation.

An open Q&A will conclude the session and allow participants to request clarification and solicit advice. 

Boggs has served the Public Access Bureau in the Office of the Illinois Attorney General since September 2012. Prior, he served as a post-doctoral legal fellow in the Office of University Counsel, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Boggs clerked for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s Office of Special Counsel, The Honorable Joe Billy McDade of the Central District of Illinois, and U.S. Sen. Barack Obama. He received his juris doctorate, cum laude, and bachelor’s degree in Political Science from U of I.

The Public Access Bureau in the office of the Illinois Attorney General is available to any member of the public, including city and county officials, for assistance with understanding FOIA policies or to request help in accessing information.

If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, contact Nancy Ouedraogo at esarey@illinois.edu. Early requests are strongly encouraged.

SOURCENancy Ouedraogo, Community and Economic Development Specialist, University of Illinois Extension

ABOUT EXTENSION: Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities.