Members of the public may make requests for inspection or for copies of public records for the Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC) under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), 5 ILCS 140/1 et. seq. This Act generally provides that all records in the custody of a public body are presumed to be open to inspection or copying unless the public body can otherwise prove that the records may be exempt from disclosure. Overall, the Illinois FOIA seeks to provide access to public records while protecting the legitimate interests of the public body and the private rights of citizens.
How to Make a FOIA Request
All Freedom of Information requests submitted to the FPDCC must include the following information:
- The name, mailing address and contact information of the requester;
- A description of the records that are being requested;
- Whether the request is for commercial purposes.
To make a request for inspection or for copies of public records, print the FOIA request form (PDF), follow all instructions, and mail, fax, email or deliver to:
Forest Preserve District of Cook County
ATTN: FOIA Officer(s)
69 West Washington Street, Suite 2010
Chicago, IL 60602
Request Form & Resources
- FPDCC FOIA Request Form (PDF)
- Cook County FOIA Information
- Illinois Freedom of Information Act “FOIA” (Illinois General Assembly – 5 ILCS 140/1 et seq)
Policy on FOIA Requests
- All requests must be made in writing and should specifically state which public records are desired for inspection and/or copying. The written request should include the requester’s full name and/or organization, address, telephone number and e-mail address to facilitate communication, discussion regarding the specific information requested and timely responses.
- No request will be considered “received” by the office until it is physically received by the Freedom of Information Act Officer at the above address, or by fax or by e-mail.
- For non-commercial requests: An acknowledgement will be sent upon receipt of a request. A response will be made within 5 business days after receipt of this request. The response deadline may be extended for an additional 5 business days; you will receive a written response stating the reason for the extension.
- For all commercial requests: A response will be made within 21 business days after receipt of this request with an estimated completion date and a fee estimate. Unless the records are exempt, the request will be completed within a reasonable time period based on the size and complexity of the request. Priority shall be given to records requested for non-commercial purposes.
- There is no fee for the first 50 pages of black and white, letter or legal sized copies. The Forest Preserve District of Cook County (the “District”) requires a fee of 15 cents per page for each page of a request that is more than 50 pages. The requestor must pay the copying fee before the District will release the requested copies. For large requests over 200 pages, the District reserves the right to utilize an outside copying service and require the requestor to pay a fee of 15 cents per page to the copying service for requests in excess 50 pages. For requests of color documents and oversized documents, the District reserves the right to charge its actual reproduction costs.
- If a person requests a copy of a record maintained in an electronic format, the District will furnish the record in the electronic format specified by the requester, if feasible. If it is not feasible to furnish the record in the specified electronic format, then the District will furnish it in the format in which it is maintained or in paper format, at the option of the requester. The requester must reimburse the office for the actual cost of the recording medium, whether disc, diskette, or other medium.
- The District provides immediate and/or online access at fpdcc.com to the following:
- Budget and Financial Information
- Board and Committee Meeting Records
- Information on Board meetings, proceedings, elected officials, administrative officials
- Forest Preserve District Code
- Additional online resources and information can be found in the About section of this website.
- If your request is denied, you will receive a written response stating the reason for the denial. Denial appeals should be sent to the Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor.