Freedom of Information Act

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FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT GENERAL INFORMATION

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Section 30-4-10 and following of the South Carolina Code of Laws, 1976 as amended, local governments have certain time limits by which to respond and produce documents requested under FOIA, and must post the fee schedule for searching and making copies of records.

GENERAL TIME MATTERS

In general, the government has 10 business days to respond to a written FOIA request if documents are two years old or less, with 30 calendar days from the response date to actually produce the documents. The government is provided 20 business days to respond if documents are older than two years, and 35 calendar days to actually produce the documents. The “response” mentioned above is the final opinion as to the availability of the documents requested, but it is not the final decision, nor does it express an opinion as to whether exemptions apply that would require certain information to be redacted. Time begins to run upon receipt handwritten, typed, electronic mail), excluding weekends and holidays.

FEE SCHEDULE

Fees for copying records cannot exceed the actual cost of the search, retrieval, and redaction of records. The fee for the search, retrieval, or redaction of records shall not exceed the prorated hourly salary of the lowest paid employee who, in the reasonable discretion of the custodian of the records, has the necessary skill and training to perform the request. Fees charged must be uniform for copies of the same record or document and may not exceed the prevailing commercial rate for copy production. Jasper County prorates time-based on tenths of an hour (6-minute increments).

Copies: Twenty-Five cents ($0.25) per page.

Compact Disks of Recordings: $8.00 per CD

Research/preparation: $13.50 per hour for staff below the department head level

Executive Staff: Based on actual hourly compensation; for use only if the request requires specialized personnel, e.g., IT, legal, executive

A deposit charge of 25% may be required before making copies; production time (30 or 35 days) begins to run upon receipt of the deposit. The full balance must be paid at the time of production of the records.

FOIA REQUEST FORM

Jasper County has made available a Freedom of Information Act Request Form which can be downloaded and used for requests. When making requests, please note that Section 30-2-50 of the South Carolina Code of Laws prohibits a person or private entity from knowingly obtaining or using personal information from a local government for commercial solicitation directed to any person in this State; violators are guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a $500.00 fine and/or jail time up to one year.