Jeffrey Greenspan, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation department, discusses the appellate court FOIA decision in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. Signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966, the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. Section 552) has been an important legal tool for ensuring government transparency and, yet, the mandate has not been without its fair share of controversy. According to a recent decision of the Illinois Appellate Court, public bodies within the state must disseminate information stored in their databases when served with a FOIA request. The decision also narrows what constitutes a request to create a new record, which cannot be sought through the FOIA. The appellate court’s decision should lend significant clarity to the nagging issues surrounding the mandates that are made for information via FOIA requests.
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