Public Access and Ethics

Our attorneys regularly advise State governmental agencies on compliance with the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Open Meetings Act (OMA), and other state laws aimed at ensuring open and honest government.  Pursuant to FOIA, public bodies are required to make available to the public all non-exempt records, communications and other materials used by the governmental agency in the transaction of public business.  We routinely assist our clients in ensuring FOIA compliance by reviewing agency records to determine whether the information therein is subject to public disclosure, preparing written responses to public record requests, and responding to requests from the Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor related to FOIA compliance.      

State governmental agencies are also required to conduct all meetings at which business of the agency is discussed in accordance with the requirements under OMA.  We regularly counsel public bodies to help ensure that our clients provide proper public notice and maintain a sufficient record of all agency meetings.  In addition, we have a firm understanding of and routinely work with our clients to make sure they understand the process for and limitations related to the discussion of sensitive matters in closed session.