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FOIA Library Policy & Procedure

April 22nd, 2015


I.                    Written Request.

A person, as defined under the Freedom of Information Act (”FOIA”), may request public records from the Saranac Public Library (“Library”).  Such request must be in writing and identify the public record sufficiently to allow the Library to find the requested record.

II.                  FOIA Coordinator.

Library appoints the Director of the Library as the FOIA Coordinator.  The FOIA Coordinator or his or her designee will respond to requests in accordance with the FOIA.

III.                Exemptions.

The FOIA permits the Library to exempt certain documents from disclosure.  The FOIA Coordinator shall review the request to determine if any exemptions apply.  The FOIA Coordinator may request assistance from the Library’s Attorney regarding the application of exemptions.

IV.                Fees.

Library may charge a fee for a public record search, the necessary copying of a public record for inspection or for providing a copy of a public record as set forth in the FOIA and this Policy.

A.      Fees for Examination, Review and Deletion and Separation of Exempt material:

Library may charge a fee, including a labor fee, for responding to a request.  Labor charges will be calculated at the hourly wage, including but not limited to fringe benefits, of the lowest paid, public body employee of Library capable of retrieving the information necessary to comply with a request under the FOIA.  The fees include the following:

1)      A fee, including a labor fee, for the actual incremental cost of duplication or publication and publication for inspection.

2)      A fee, including a labor fee, may be charged for the cost of search, examination, review, and the deletion and separation of exempt from nonexempt information if the failure to charge the fee would result in unreasonably high costs to Library because of the nature of the request in the particular instance, and the FOIA Coordinator identifies the nature of the unreasonably high cost to Library.

a)      Cost of search, examination, review, and the deletion and separation of exempt from nonexempt information of $50.00 or more are considered unreasonably high costs to Library due to the amount of time that must be devoted to such tasks in order to incur that level of costs and the cumulative effort such request would have on the Library’s ability to provide its usual services to the public.

b)      For costs of search, examination, review and deletion and separation less than $50.00, the FOIA Coordinator shall be given the authority to determine when the costs are unreasonably high in a particular instance, including but not limited to instances when the costs would be excessive and beyond the normal or usual amounts for responding to a request.  The FOIA Coordinator may take into account considerations such as the volume and complexity of the FOIA request as well as the Library’s particular fiscal condition at the time of the request.

B.      Mailing and Postage Fees.  Library may charge the actual cost of mailing and documents to the person who submitted then FOIA request.

3)      STANDARD LEGAL AND LETTER SIZE PUBLIC DOCUMENTS:  one or two sided sheets ten cents ($.10) for each page.

4)      RETURNED CHECKS:  The Library shall charge the actual cost charged by the bank to the Library for returned checks

5)      VIDEO OR AUDIO TAPES:  Actual cost of the tape and actual cost of the reproduction of the tape.

6)      COMPACT DISCS OR DVDS:  Actual cost of the disc, CD or DVD. STANDARD LEGAL AND LETTER SIZE PUBLIC DOCUMENTS:  one or two sided sheets ten cents ($.10) for each page.

7)      OVERSIZED DOCUMENTS:  Actual costs incurred by Library in order to provide a copy.

8)      POSTAGE:  Actual cost of sending the documents, using the least expensive method of delivery.

V.                  Affidavit of Indigence.

A.      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 from an individual who is entitled to information under the FOIA and who submits an affidavit stating that the individual is then receiving public assistance or, if not receiving public assistance, stating facts showing inability to pay the costs because of indigence.

VI.                Public Interest Reduction or Waiver.

The FOIA Coordinator may reduce or waive the imposition of fees if the Coordinator determines that a waiver or reduction of the fee is in the public interest because searching for or furnishing copies of the public record can be considered as primarily benefiting the general public.

VII.              Deposit.

In cases where a charge exceeding $50.oo for copies is expected, a good faith deposit shall be collected, not to exceed one-half (1/2) of the expected total fee, when the request for such information is made.

VIII.            Release of Documents upon Payment of Fee.

After a person requesting information pays the fee, the FOIA Coordinator shall release the requested information to the person.