Freedom Of Information

INITIATED: April 8, 2001

APPROVED: May 2, 1997

PURPOSE

Handling of Freedom of Information requests.

APPLICABILITY

All faculty and staff.

PROCEDURE

The Michigan Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") provides public access to certain public records of public bodies.

Public Act 553 of 1996 amended the FOIA warranting changes to the provisions of the Northern Michigan University FOIA Resolution and Rules and Regulations adopted and promulgated by the Board of Control on March 24, 1977.

The Board of Control of Northern Michigan University has established the following procedures and guidelines concerning fees, processing requests for records, and administration of the FOIA:

1. Pursuant to § 6 (2) of the FOIA the President of Northern Michigan University is the FOIA Coordinator. However, pursuant to the President's request and unless and until the President shall designate another individual, the Vice President for Finance and Administration is designated to act on the President's behalf in accepting and processing requests for the University's public records, and in approving a denial under §§ 5 (4) and (5) of the FOIA. An employee of the University who receives a written request for a public record shall promptly forward that request to the Vice President for Finance and Administration.
2. The Vice President for Finance and Administration shall keep a copy of all written requests for public records on file for no less than one (1) year.
3. University records may be inspected or copied only during the regularly scheduled hours established by the office where the inspection or copying is to be performed, such hours to be scheduled not less frequently than weekly, or by special appointment. University records to be inspected or copied shall be inspected or copied under staff supervision in the office where they are usually or customarily stored or maintained, except that if the Vice President for Finance and Administration shall determine that such would unduly or unnecessarily disrupt University functions or processes, then such inspection or copying shall be performed at such other alternative location as he/she shall designate.
4. Magnetic and paper tapes, microfilm, microfiche, magnetic or punched cards, discs, drums, and other forms of recording or retaining information which are readily susceptible to damage and/or difficult of reconstruction, shall not be released from University custody. Only copies of such records shall be made available to persons other than duly authorized University personnel.
5. The destruction or defacing of any record of the University by any person shall be prosecuted to the fullest extent allowable under law.
6. University personnel shall take appropriate steps and precautions to protect and preserve the records of the University during any inspection or copying of same, which steps and precautions may include personal supervision of the inspection or copying.
7. University personnel shall not be required, in responding to an information request, to make a compilation, summary, report of information, or new public record except as required by § 11 of the FOIA nor, absent necessary and unique duplicative facilities not available to the requester, to make multiple copies of records.
8. Recognizing that actual costs involved may change, the Vice President for Finance and Administration shall calculate, and persons requesting public records shall be charged, the amount of fees allowed by the FOIA and other laws relative to the provision of public records, as those laws currently stand and as they may be changed in the future, except that those fees may be waived by the Vice President for Finance and Administration at his/her discretion within the parameters of the laws. The most recent hourly rates of the lowest paid public body employee capable of retrieving the information necessary to comply with a request under the FOIA shall be provided by the Vice President for Finance and Administration upon request by the person submitting this request.
9. The Vice President for Finance and Administration may require a good faith deposit as allowed by law when it appears that the fee will exceed $50.00.
10. A public record search shall be made and a copy of a public record shall be furnished without charge for the first $20.00 of the fee for each request to an individual who submits an affidavit stating that the individual is receiving public assistance or, if not receiving public assistance, stating facts demonstrating to the Vice President for Finance and Administration inability to pay the cost because of indigency.
11. Procedures for appeal to the Chair of the Board of Control and other procedural and guideline requirements as required by the FOIA are hereby adopted and incorporated by reference in these procedures and guidelines, and the Vice President for Finance and Administration and the administration shall implement them and submit appeals to the Chair of the Board of Control as required by law. Appeals from the denial of a request shall be in writing, shall state the word "Appeal," and shall identify the reason or reasons for reversal of the disclosure denial. Appeals shall be filed with the Secretary of the Board of Control.
12. Northern Michigan University reserves the right to not disclose any information not required to be disclosed under applicable law including the Freedom of Information Act and to charge any fees and require any deposits in any amount allowed by law.
13. This resolution shall supersede and replace the Freedom of Information Resolution which was approved by the Board of Control on March 24, 1977.

REFERENCES

Freedom of Information Act (Public Act 442 of 1976)
Freedom of Information Act, as amended by 1996 Public Act 553
Open Meeting Act (Public Act 267 of 1976)
Right-to-Know Act (Public Act 397 of 1978)
NMU Board of Control Resolution approved May 2, 1997

INITIATING DEPARTMENT/DIVISION

Vice President for Finance and Administration, ext. 2200

For associated policy, please click here: Freedom of Information Policy