FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (FOIA) REQUESTS
Ottawa Area ISD (OAISD) and Michigan's Freedom of Information Act
As a public institution in the state of Michigan, OAISD is subject to provisions of the state's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Under the FOIA, "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...." Consequently, any individual other than a federal, state or county prisoner has the right to inspect and/or receive copies of public records maintained by the District.
What is a public record?
The FOIA defines a public record as a "writing prepared, owned, used, in the possession of, or retained by a public body in the performance of an official function, from the time it is created."
The law defines a "writing" as "handwriting, typewriting, printing, Photostatting, photographing, photocopying, and every other means of recording, and includes letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols, or combinations thereof, and papers, maps, magnetic or paper tapes, photographic films or prints, microfilm, microfiche, magnetic or punched cards, discs, drums, or other means of recording or retaining meaningful content." E-mail messages are considered public records under the FOIA if they deal with official District business. A person's correspondence requesting information under the FOIA is also considered a public Record. However, the law specifically excludes computer software from the definition of public record.
Please note that the District is not required to make a compilation, summary or report of information, or to create a new public record.