Written on: June 25th, 1999 in 10001 Declaration of Policy
The Complainant alleged that the City of Newark had violated the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) at its March 22, 1999 City Council meeting by changing its agenda at the start of that meeting to include a $675,000 increase to the 1999 city budget so that the city could consummate a purchase of real property it had contracted to buy in a March 10, 1999 agreement. Held: Because the agreement had been entered into 12 days before the meeting in question, the City’s defense that it could amend its agenda to reflect issues that “arise at the time of the public body’s meeting” under FOIA was insufficient. The City was directed to place the budget amendment on the agenda of the next regularly scheduled meeting or at a special meeting held with adequate notice and opportunity for the public to be heard.
Written on: June 9th, 1999 in 10001 Declaration of Policy
The Complainant alleged that the Christina School District had violated the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) by charging her for the costs of retrieving and copying public records that had been requested before the district enacted a set of administrative procedures providing for the charging of costs associated with FOIA responses. Held: Costs could only be assessed for requests that came in after the district implemented its policy for cost recoupment. The district violated FOIA by delaying its response to the Complainant’s request until after it had promulgated regulations requiring a requesting party to pay for the administrative costs associated with a search, and then charging the Complainant for such costs.