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is being conducted in the public interest.
The General Assembly hereby declares that it is the public
policy of the State of Illinois that access by all persons to
public records promotes the transparency and accountability of
public bodies at all levels of government. It is a fundamental
obligation of government to operate openly and provide public
records as expediently and efficiently as possible in
compliance with this Act.
This Act is not intended to cause an unwarranted invasion
of personal privacy, nor
to allow the requests of a commercial
enterprise to unduly burden public resources, or to disrupt the
duly-undertaken work of any public body independent of the
any of the fore-mentioned rights of the people
to access to information.
This Act is not intended to create an obligation on the
part of any public
body to maintain or prepare any public
record which was not maintained or
prepared by such public body
at the time when this Act becomes effective,
otherwise required by applicable local, State or federal law.
Restraints on access to information, to the extent
permitted by this Act, are limited exceptions
to the principle
that the people of this State have a right to full disclosure
of information relating to the decisions,
procedures, rules, standards, and other aspects of government
activity that affect the conduct of government and the lives of
any or all
of the people. The provisions of this Act shall be
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construed in accordance with this principle. This Act shall be
construed to require disclosure of requested information as
expediently and efficiently as possible and adherence to the
deadlines established in this Act.
The General Assembly recognizes that this Act imposes
fiscal obligations on public bodies to provide adequate staff
and equipment to comply with its requirements. The General
Assembly declares that providing records in compliance with the
requirements of this Act is a primary duty of public bodies to
the people of this State, and this Act should be construed to
this end, fiscal obligations notwithstanding.
The General Assembly further recognizes that technology
may advance at a rate that outpaces its ability to address
those advances legislatively. To the extent that this Act may
not expressly apply to those technological advances, this Act
should nonetheless be interpreted to further the declared
policy of this Act that public records shall be made available
upon request except when denial of access furthers the public
policy underlying a specific exemption.
This Act shall be the exclusive State statute on freedom of
except to the extent that other State statutes
might create additional restrictions
on disclosure of
information or other laws in Illinois might create additional
obligations for disclosure of information to the public.
(Source: P.A. 96-542, eff. 1-1-10.)".