Compliance Reminder: Training Requirements for FOIA Officers, OMA Designees, and Elected Officials
Nov 14, 2012
The Open Meetings Act (OMA) and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) mandate training for FOIA Officers, OMA Designees, and elected/appointed officials. With a new year on the horizon, the various training requirements are summarized below:
FOIA Officers (5 ILCS 140/3.5)
- A public body must designate at least 1 individual to serve as its FOIA Officer.
- FOIA Officers must annually complete the Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor (“PAC”) free electronic training program, which can be accessed at http://foia.ilattorneygeneral.net/electronic_foia_training.aspx.
- Any time a new FOIA Officer is designated, they must complete the training within 30 days of assuming the position, and annually thereafter.
OMA Designees (5 ILCS 120/1.05)
- A public body must designate employees, officers, or members to receive training regarding the OMA, and submit a list of these individuals to the PAC.
- All OMA Designees must annually complete the PAC’s free electronic training program. See website noted above.
- Any time a new OMA Designee is named, they must complete the electronic training within 30 days of the designation, and annually thereafter.
Elected or Appointed Officials (5 ILCS 120/1.05)
- Individuals elected or appointed to a public body on or before January 1, 2012, must complete the PAC’s free electronic training program by January 1, 2013, and submit a certificate of completion to the public body. See website noted above.
- Individuals who become members after January 1, 2012, must complete the electronic training within 90 days of taking the oath of office or, if no oath is required, assuming responsibilities as a board member, and submit a certificate of completion to the public body.
- School board members have the option of completing the PAC’s training or a program offered by the IASB. In either case, a certificate of completion must be filed with the public body. See www.iasb.com/training/mandatory.cfm for more information.
- Training does not need to be completed annually, unless the individual is also an OMA Designee.
If you have questions about this please contact any Robbins Schwartz attorney.
Catherine R. Locallo of the firm’s Chicago office prepared this Law Alert.