• Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Fees 

    Richland County School District One recognizes the right of any person, under provision of the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act, as amended, to inspect or receive copies of any public record. Our FOIA procedures are designed to promote open government, citizen involvement and organizational accountability.

    Any member of the public can review or obtain school district records that are determined to be public under the provisions of the FOIA. In order to maintain the effective functioning of a school district office or department and for security reasons, certain conditions for reviewing or obtaining copies of records may apply.

    Fees


    Fees include both the cost of the reproduction and personnel costs for research and retrieval. Any individual making a FOIA request will adhere to the following fee schedule:

    • No charge for a single request for compilation and/or reproduction of up to 10 pages of readily available information

    • A charge of 25 cents (25¢) per page will be assessed for a single request of 11 or more pages.

    • Costs of material and personnel time will be assessed for the compilation and/or reproduction of any material that is deemed to require extensive staff time to compile.

    • Mailing costs will be assessed as charged by the U.S. Postal Service. Non-standard sizes will be billed at the actual cost to Richland County School District One.

    • A fee deposit not exceeding 25% of the total reasonable anticipated cost is required prior to searching for and/or copying requested records.

    • Fees will not exceed the prorated annual salary of the lowest paid employee, who had the necessary skills and training to search, retrieve, or redact the records.

    • Payment in full is due prior to the release of any records. The district reserves the right to waive fees.

    Requesting public records

    Please be specific in your written request. If you are uncertain about which records contain the information you desire, provide a description of the type of information you are searching for and every attempt will be made to locate the relevant records. A great deal of information about the school district is available on our web site, and this information may help you formulate your request.

    Please note that certain records are exempt from disclosure under FOIA or other statutes and are not available for public inspection (S.C. Code Section 30-40-4). The school district is not required to create a public record when one does not exist.

     

    A person may receive public records in the following ways:

    • Paper
    • Electronic transmission

    If an electronic version must be created, the public body will be charged for the time taken to reproduce the documents. If an electronic version is already created, it will be free of charge.

     

    Timelines for responding to requests

    • Within 10 business days of receipt of a specific written request from any individual, a written response as to whether or not the records will be made available.
    • For records requested that are more than 24 months old, a written response to the person making the request will be provided within 20 business days.
    • 30 calendar days (35 for records more than 24 months old) from the initial notification or receipt of required fee, documents must be produced.
    • Timelines may be extended by written, mutual agreement

     

    Commercial solicitation

    • Notice must be provided that prohibits the procurement or use of public records from commercial solicitation.
    • Reasonable measures must be taken to ensure that no private person or private entity, obtains or distributes personal information acquired through public records, for commercial solicitations.

     

    Making your request

    Requests for official public records made under South Carolina’s Freedom of Information Act can be submitted by sending a written request to: Susan G. Williams, General Counsel, Richland County School District One, 1616 Richland Street, Columbia, SC 29201, or by email to susan.williams@richlandone.org.

    To assist you in filing a request, you may choose to print out a REQUEST FORM that can be filled out and mailed to the address listed above. Similarly, you can choose to send your request form via email. The FOIA Request Form also can be completed and sent via email.

     

    Reviewing public records in person

    If you ask to review original documents, we may request that you follow procedures to protect the integrity of public records:

    • You may be supervised by a school district employee within the area where the records are stored and/or maintained.
    • You may need to review records in a designated area or schedule a particular time of day so that day-to-day activities of that specific office or department are not disrupted.

     

    Legal remedies

    Civil action may now be filed to seek relief:

    • When FOIA requests are unduly burdensome, overly broad, vague, repetitive, or improper
    • When a person or entity with a specific interest in records or information wants to access information contained in records which are exempt from disclosure
    • To determine whether information is exempt from disclosure