4.5-1 FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT COMPLIANCE POLICY

Summary

As provided in Section 1 of the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, "It is the public policy of this state that all persons, except those persons incarcerated in state or local correctional facilities, are entitled to full and complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of those who represent them as public officials and public employees, consistent with this act.  The people shall be informed so that they may fully participate in the democratic process.”1 To that end, all people, excluding prisoners, are allowed to file FOIA requests with Saginaw Valley State University (“SVSU”).  A requester must simply file a request in writing with SVSU’s FOIA Office (or Coordinator), and SVSU will begin processing his or her request.2

SVSU, in its initial response, will do one of the following within the timeframe permitted by the statute: provide the requested documents, provide some of the requested documents while withholding others, withhold all of the requested documents, inform the requester that additional time is needed, require a fee deposit prior to further processing, or inform the requester that the requested record has not been sufficiently described.  If request is denied or partially denied, SVSU will explain why the documents have not been released and inform the requester of his or her challenge and appeal options.

A fee deposit will be required when processing a request which requires significant SVSU employee time and resources.  SVSU will notify the requester of the estimated cost and provide a non-binding, best efforts estimate of the time it will take to complete the processing of the request.  It is possible that after further processing of the request, SVSU will determine that the cost of processing the request is significantly less or greater than the estimated cost.  If that is the case, SVSU will notify the requester.  After SVSU receives the required deposit, it will make every effort to provide the requested documents within the time estimate provided.  Requesters must understand, however, that at any given time, SVSU is processing multiple requests and cannot devote all of its time to one particular request.

If a requester feels that he or she was wrongly denied responsive documents, he or she may appeal to the President of SVSU or file a civil action.   Requesters are also always free to contact the FOIA Office with any questions about the processing of their requests.

SVSU FOIA Procedures and Guidelines

1. How to submit a FOIA request to SVSU
2. Responses to FOIA requests to SVSU
3. Deposit Requirements
4. Calculation of Fees
5. Procedures for Challenge and Appeal

Adopted 8/11/97 BC

Revised 7/1/15 PRES


[1] M.C.L.A. 15.231.
[2] Verbal requests for information are not FOIA requests for purposes of these Procedures and Guidelines. If a verbal request for information is received by a SVSU employee who knows that the information is available on SVSU’s website, the employee, where practicable, will inform the requester about SVSU’s website address.
[3] SVSU has determined, consistent with FOIA, that failure to charge fees in situations where the fees would be equal to or greater than $50.00 would result in unreasonably high costs to SVSU.
[4] A copy of the standard form that SVSU uses for fee itemization, with additional explanatory information, is attached to these Procedures and Guidelines.
[5] Labor costs will be estimated and charged in increments of 15 minutes or more, with all partial time increments rounded down. he labor is charged at the hourly rate of the lowest paid SVSU employee capable of doing the work, plus fringe benefits, if applicable. f it is not possible for the work to be done by a SVSU employee, SVSU will contract the work out and charge per the provisions of the statute.