Freedom of Information Act Requests
The South Carolina Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), S.C. Code Ann. §§ 30-4-10 to -165, provides access to public meetings and to certain records maintained by government bodies. Consistent with the FOIA, records maintained by the Spartanburg School District 7 Communications Office (“Communications Office” or “Office”) are open to public review. Upon request, the Office will make available to the public those records that are subject to disclosure under the FOIA and that are not privileged, protected, or otherwise exempt from disclosure or afforded confidential treatment by state or federal law. There are penalties involved for noncompliance with the state’s prohibitions against using information secured through a FOIA records request for commercial solicitation. We do not guarantee that a records search will result in any responsive records being located. 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. For a partial list of exemptions under the law, please see S.C. Code Ann. § 30-4-40.
How do I request information?
FOIA requests may be submitted by U.S. mail, fax, or by email:
610 Dupre Drive
Spartanburg, SC 29307
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.
How long will it take?
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.