Freedom of Information Act

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a state statute that provides the public the right to access government documents and records. The law provides that a person can ask a public body for a copy of its records on a specific subject and the public body must provide those records, unless there is an exemption in the statute that protects those records from disclosure.

Request for Public Records

The City of Darien has appointed two FOIA Officers to provide public records as expeditiously and efficiently as possible under the law. The City of Darien does not have an individual Freedom of Information Department rather the responsibilities and duties of the Freedom of Information Officer have been delegated to the City Administrator and Commanders.

A specific line item in the current budget has not been established to meet the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act. A total of four administrative employees and four police department employees will assist the two FOIA officers.

The following records are readily available to the public:

  • Accident Reports
  • Annual Treasurer’s Report
  • Building Permits and Applications
  • City Code
  • City Council Agendas 1994-present
  • City Council Minutes 1994-present
  • Executed Contracts
  • Current Budget
  • List of City Officials
  • List of Licensed Contractors
  • Official Zoning Map
  • Ordinances 1998-present
  • Resolutions 1997-present
  • Zoning Book

How to File a FOIA Request

The following are instructions on how to file a FOIA request:

  1. To ensure that you preserve all of your rights under the Freedom of Information Act, you should file a written request for documents known as a Freedom of Information Request (FOIA). Address the request to the FOIA Officer of the public body.
  2. Be as specific as possible when identifying the documents you wish to obtain so the public body can find the requested records. Providing as much information as possible in your request on the subject matter may expedite the search process.
  3. Let the public body know whether you wish to examine the records in person or have copies.
  4. Include your name, address, the date and daytime phone number, so that the public body can contact you if they have questions. You may submit your written request by mail, personal delivery, fax or e-mail or other means available, i.e. the public body’s website.
  5. The public body may offer a FOIA form, but the requestor is not required to use it if they so choose.
  6. Always keep a copy of your FOIA request and any responses you get from the public body.

Requests should be addressed to:

Bryon Vana, FOIA Officer
Administrative Records
1702 Plainfield Road
Darien, IL 60561

Rosemary Gonzalez, FOIA Officer
Police Department Records
1702 Plainfield Road
Darien, IL 60561

A public body must respond to a FOIA request within 5 business days after the public body receives the request. Day 1 of the 5-day timeline is the first business day after the request is received by the public body.

If additional time is needed, the public body must notify the requestor in writing within 5 business days after the receipt of the statutory reasons for the extension and when the requested information will be produced.

The public body can charge for copies. The first 50 copies of black and white letter size (8 ½ x 11) or legal size (11 x 14) are free. Additional copies can cost no more than 15 cents each. For color copies or abnormal size copies, the public body can charge the actual cost of copying.

The public body can charge the actual cost for purchasing a CD if the information is requested in an electronic format.

If the FOIA Request is denied, you will receive written notice with a specific legal reason under the Freedom of Information Act to justify the denial. You will be informed that you have a right to seek review of the issue by the Public Access Counselor (PAC) in the Attorney General’s office along with the contact information as well as the right to seek judicial review by filing a court case.

The Public Access Counselor contact information is as follows:

Public Access Bureau
500 S. 2nd Street
Springfield, Illinois 62706

The Request for Public Information form is also available to you on our Forms and Permits page.  

Printer Friendly Request for Public Information Fillable Form   
Printer Friendly Darien Police Department - Request for Public Records Form