What is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)?
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) was enacted to provide direct access to the functions of government to the general public and the press. Government agencies and public officials have a duty to disclose any public information requested through FOIA unless the information is protected from disclosure by law.
When drafting South Carolina’s FOIA, the General Assembly found the following:The General Assembly finds that it is vital in a democratic society that public business be performed in an open and public manner so that citizens shall be advised of the performance of public officials and of the decisions that are reached in public activity and in the formulation of public policy. Toward this end, provisions of this chapter must be construed so as to make it possible for citizens, or their representatives, to learn and report fully the activities of their public officials at a minimum cost or delay to the persons seeking access to public documents or meetings.
Making a FOIA Request
A FOIA request can be made for any agency record. You can also specify the format in which you wish to receive the records (for example, printed or electronic form). The FOIA does not require agencies to create new records or to conduct research, analyze data, or answer questions when responding to requests. FOIA requests must be in writing. A FOIA request can be emailed to FOIA@scag.gov or mailed to the following address:
S.C. Attorney General’s Office
PO Box 11549
Columbia, SC 29211
FOIA Fee Schedule
There is a fee associated with a FOIA request. This fee will be shared prior to the processing of a request.
- $19.00 per hour for staff time required for the search, retrieval, and redaction of records
- $0.20 per page of printed copies of records
- $12.00 per hour for staff time required to transfer public records to electronic format if requested and agreed upon