Freedom of Information Act Requests

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    Freedom of Information Act Requests

    The business of Spartanburg School District Three is open to public review, as is required by the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act. In South Carolina, Freedom of Information Act requests are codified in the SC Code of Laws under Section 30.  The full law can be found at http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/t30c004.php.

    Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), we have 20 business days within which to inform you of the availability of the non-exempt “public records” that you have requested and to provide a time and cost estimate to provide those public records to you.

    We do not make public, and will not produce in response to your request, those records that may be exempted under state law, including, but not limited to, trade secrets, personal information of students or teachers, confidential proprietary information, privileged communications, or protected information. We do not provide personally identifiable student information.  We abide by all laws and regulations pertaining to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and do not make public any records protected under these Acts.

    How do I request information?

    All requests pursuant to the FOIA must be submitted in writing.  Although no particular form is required, written submissions should identify or describe the materials requested in order to allow staff to efficiently search for the records in question.  Overly broad or vague requests may make it difficult for the Office to respond in a timely manner or to search for or produce records at the lowest possible cost.  The scope of requests may be narrowed by subject, date, or custodian to help ensure that searches are tailored to the specific records sought and do not yield irrelevant information.  

    FOIA requests may be submitted by U.S. mail, fax, or by email:

    Communications Office
    Attn: FOIA 
    610 Dupre Drive 
    Spartanburg, SC 29307

    communications@spart7.org

    Please note we abide by all laws and regulations pertaining to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and do not make public any records protected under these Acts. Additionally, South Carolina law prohibits obtaining or using public records for commercial solicitation directed to any person in this State and provides penalties for noncompliance under S.C. Code Ann. § 30-2-50. 

    What does it cost?

    Under South Carolina law, “Documents may be furnished when appropriate without charge or at a reduced charge where the agency determines that waiver or reduction of the fee is in the public interest because furnishing the information can be considered as primarily benefiting the general public.” District 7 will make the final determination as to whether a request made under the Freedom of Information Act is one primarily benefiting the general public. 
Reasonable efforts will be made to produce public records at the lowest possible cost, and the following fee schedule will apply:

    Copying cost will be charged at a commercially reasonable rate of $0.15 per page, and the fee for non-standard size documents, such as architectural plans or property plats, will be individually determined at the time of copying based on actual copying cost.

    Search, retrieval, and redaction costs of records will be charged at the prorated hourly salary of the lowest paid employee who, in the reasonable discretion of the custodian of the records, has the necessary skill and training to perform the search, retrieval, and, if appropriate, redaction. Records request involving specialized, technical, or confidential information, or otherwise requiring redaction, will in many cases require an employee with a higher salary to perform the search, retrieval, and/or redaction. The fee rate, accordingly, will vary based on the nature of the records requested, depending on the necessary skill and training level necessary. However, the current minimum applicable fee rate is $16.00 per hour. Employee time will be billed based on 1/4 hour increments.

    The fee schedule may vary from time to time as hourly wages, salaries, and commercially reasonable copying costs change.

    Fees will not be charged for examination and review of documents to determine if the documents are subject to disclosure. Additionally, copying costs will not be charged for copies of records that are transmitted in electronic format, although if requested records are not already in electronic format, fees will be charged for staff time required to transfer the documents to electronic format.