The Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140/1), became effective July 1, 1984 and insures records in the possession of public agencies may be accessed by the public upon request. The Act defines a public record as, “all records, reports, forms, writings, letters, memorandum, books, papers, maps, photographs, microfilms, cards, tapes, recordings, electronic data processing records, electronic communications, recorded information and all other documentary materials pertaining to the transaction of public business, regardless of physical form or characteristics, having been prepared by or for, or having been or being used by, received by, in the possession of, or under the control of any public body.”
Some records are, however, not subject to release via the FOIA process. These types of records are described under 5 ILCS 140, Sections 2.15, 7, and 7.5. Some records may also be subject to provisions imposed by other state statutes. The FOIA process for disclosure of information does not supersede other applicable statutory and judicial mandates.
The Open Meetings Act (5 ILCS 120/1) addresses topics such as providing notice of regular and special meetings, minutes, agendas and other related topics. OMA along with FOIA comprise the Sunshine Laws which are designed to permit the public to have insight into governmental operations.