Wednesday, December 2, 2015

New FOIA handbook now online

For many years, the Municipal Association has worked closely with the SC Press Association on many issues related to the Freedom of Information Act because both organizations share an interest in good government and open government.

Most recently, the Associations worked together during the 2015 session on legislation regarding amending meeting agendas to ensure a process that allows the most sunshine as possible on public body meetings. After the bill became law, the two associations created a flowchart that illustrates the somewhat complex process governments must use to amend an agenda after the meeting has started.

The Press Association’s “Public Official’s Handbook for Freedom of Information Act Compliance” has just been updated to reflect this change in state law regarding agendas. It’s on page 12 in Section 30-4-80 of the handbook.

Also in the updated handbook is a new section about disclosure of autopsy records resulting from a 2014 SC Supreme Court ruling. It’s on page 8 in Section 30-4-40.

Many city halls keep copies of this handbook handy in council chambers, so this updated version should replace any previous versions. The handbook is linked from the Municipal Association’s publications inventory on its website. Hard copies are available from the Press Association.

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