I’ve been filing Freedom of Information requests with local, state and federal government entities for a couple of decades.
I have never received a reply such as the one I just got from Huntley School District 158.
I had submitted my second request for memos relating to the two reading programs which Special Ed Moms don’t think will of much help to their children, but could be useful to kids in the regular education program.
The first, contained within a multi-subject request, didn’t catch the attention of District 158 enough to even be mentioned in the reply.
Being more patient than most people give me credit for—hey, what choice does someone dealing with government have?—I filed a second FOI request asking for the same memos.
Now, I have received the following reply:
“We are unable to comply with your request for ‘memos previously requested concerning Real 180 and System 44′ as the request is too vague. Further information is needed (dates of memos, name(s) of person(s) to whom and from whom the memo is address, pertinent information contained in the memorandum, etc.) in order to comply with your request.“
If almost sounds as if I must have a copy of the memos before I can get a copy of the memos.
“It is my belief that there are two such memos, which it seems to me could be found by an FOI officer by sending my request to those who have been involved in the purchase of these programs. Or, if you have a centralized computer records system, just searching it using those two identifiers as search items.
“If your staff cannot find these memos or, if you deny my appeal, I shall refile my request after January 1st and see how the newly amended law works.”
Starting in the new year, disputes can be referred to the Illinois Attorney General for resolution.
Anyone able to help me make that request more specific than the one that has so far been denied, please email me at the address at the upper left of McHenry County Blog.