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Freedom of Information Act

OSFM FOIA Officer:  Alix E. Armstead
OSFM FOIA Clerk:

Agency Information Board Information

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT

The purpose of the Freedom of Information Act (“Act”), found at 5 ILCS 140/1, is to provide public access to the public records in the possession of the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) while, simultaneously, protecting legitimate privacy interests and maintaining administrative efficiency.

Prior to submitting a FOIA request, it is recommended that the public explore the OSFM website (http://www.sfm.illinois.gov/) for up-to-date information concerning its various divisions and programs.  This search may identify information that is free, immediately available, and can be directly printed from the web.  For instance, those looking for information related to specific Underground Storage Tanks, (i.e., facility numbers, removals or violations) can be located in a searchable database under the Petroleum and Chemical Safety Tab on the OSFM website.  The website may also provide information for contacting relevant OSFM employees to assist you in defining your FOIA requests.  Your search of the OSFM website may also identify other state and local agencies that may have information responsive to your inquiries.

Submitting FOIA Requests to the OSFM

FOIA requests to the OSFM shall be made in writing.  Requests shall be legible, specific and in English.  The requests may be completed using this online web form. After completing the form legibly, and in English, print the form out and mail or fax it to the Illinois State Fire Marshal. Mailing address is:

Illinois State Fire Marshal
Attn: OSFM FOIA Officer
1035 Stevenson Drive
Springfield, IL 62703

Fax number is:
(217) 558-6504.

If your request falls within the Property Fire Loss Act [215 ILCS 145/1], please complete the OSFM Electronic Property Fire Loss Act Submission Form.  You may submit the form via the above-mentioned methods.  If your desire to fax a Property Fire Loss Act request, please use the following number:  (217) 785-4715

B. OSFM Records

1. General Information

The OSFM’s public records are maintained and organized within separate OSFM Divisions by site location, facility name, grant/contract project, date order, individual name, etc.  It is more important to provide specific descriptive information when requesting information through the FOIA process in order to ensure that the correct responsive information is provided.  Records will be searched and requests will be filled based upon the information provided by the requestor.  FOIA is designed to provide copies of public records.  It is not designed to require a public body, like the OSFM, to answer questions.

 2. Document available for Immediate Disclosure

Pursuant to the Act, the OSFM has designated the following document(s) to be immediately available, upon request:
                Current OSFM Annual Report [http://www.sfm.illinois.gov/about/annualreport.aspx].

3. Records List

Pursuant to the Act, the OSFM has prepared a reasonably current list of all types or categories of records under its control.  This list is available, upon request, or on the OSFM website [insert link].

4. Fee Scale

OSFM’s public records are maintained in various media formats that may include paper, microfilm, digital images and computerized records.  Fees that may be assessed depend upon the type of media and quantities of records requested.  There is no fee for requests for electronic documents.  However, the OSFM may charge an individual requesting electronic documentation for the actual cost of purchasing the recording medium (if any) required to comply with a FOIA request.   There is no fee for the first 50 pages of standard, black and white, copies.  Requests that produce greater than 50 standard, black and white copies may, at the OSFM’s discretion, generate a $0.15 per-page charge.  Other fees and charges may include:

Type of Duplication

Charge

Black and White paper copy from paper original, per page

$0.15

(not exceeding 8 ½ inches x 14 inches)

 

 

 

Color paper copy from paper original, per page

$0.29

(not exceeding 8 ½ inches x 14 inches)

 

   
Per Compact Disk
$0.25

 

 

Computer printout

 

Batch processing, per CPU Hour

$615.00

Per tape mount

$0.95

Paper printout, per 1000 lines

$0.33

   

Black and white photograph (8 inches x 10 inches)

 

From negative, per photograph

$1.50

From photograph, per photograph

$1.50

The fee for certifying copies is $1.00 per individual record.

5.  Fee Waiver Request

You are permitted to request a waiver or reduction of copying or production fees.  To do so, please include the following statement (or a similar statement) in your written FOIA request:  “I request a waiver of all fees associated with this request.”  If using the OSFM’s online form, please check the box requesting a fee waiver.  In each case, you must include a specific explanation as to why your request for information is in the public’s – and not simply the requester’s – interest and merits a fee waiver.  Waiver or reduction of fees associated with FOIA requests is considered in the public interest “if the principal purpose of the request is to access and disseminate information regarding the health, safety and welfare or the legal rights of the general public and is not for the principal purpose of personal or commercial benefit.”  5 ILCS 140/6(c).  In setting the amount of the waiver or reduction, the OSFM is authorized to consider the amount of materials requested and the cost of copying them.