Freedom of Information Act

As a public institution in the state of Michigan, Oakland Community College is subject to provisions of the state's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Public Act 442 of 1976. Under FOIA, "all persons, except those persons incarcerated in state or local correctional facilities, are entitled to full and complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of those who represent them as public officials and public employees."

OCC’s policy with respect to FOIA requests is to comply with State law and respond to each FOIA request in a consistent and fair manner.  Please refer to OCC’s Freedom of Information Act Procedures and Guidelines and the Written Public Summary (below) for additional information.

Written requests may be submitted to OCC’s FOIA Coordinator in person or via U.S. mail, facsimile or electronic mail to:

Oakland Community College
Attention: FOIA Coordinator
2480 Opdyke Road
Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304-2266
Phone: 248.341.2010
Fax: 248.341.2118
foia@oaklandcc.edu

Please include the words "FOIA" or "FOIA Request" in your communications to assist us in providing a prompt response. The following information about the requestor must also be included: first and last name, name of organization (if applicable), complete mailing address, phone number and email address.

Oakland Community College
Public Summary of FOIA Procedures and Guidelines
Revised September 14, 2021

It is the public policy of this state that all persons (except those persons incarcerated in state or local correctional facilities) are entitled to full and complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of those who represent them as public officials and public employees.

The people shall be informed so that they may fully participate in the democratic process.

Consistent with the Michigan Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Public Act 442 of 1976, the following is the Written Public Summary of Oakland Community College’s (OCC) FOIA Procedures and Guidelines relevant to the general public.

How do I submit a FOIA request to OCC?

  • A request must sufficiently describe a public record so as to enable OCC to find it.
     
  • A request from a person, other than an individual who qualifies as indigent under MCL 15.234(2)(a), must include the requesting person's complete name, address, and contact information, and, if the request is made by a person other than an individual, the complete name, address, and contact information of the person's agent who is an individual. An address must be written in compliance with United States Postal Service addressing standards:
     
    FULL NAME OF INDIVIDUAL (and company name, if applicable)
    STREET ADDRESS, SUITE #
    CITY, STATE, ZIP CODE
     
  • Contact information must include a valid telephone number or electronic mail address.
     
  • Please include the words “FOIA” or “FOIA Request” in the request to assist OCC in providing a prompt response.
     
  • Requests to inspect or obtain copies of public records prepared, owned, used, possessed or retained by OCC may be submitted in writing (letter, fax, email, etc.), or by verbal request.
     
  • Written requests may be submitted to OCC’s FOIA Coordinator in person or via U.S. mail, facsimile or electronic mail to:
     
    Oakland Community College
    Attention: FOIA Coordinator
    2480 Opdyke Road
    Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304-2266
    Phone: 248.341.2010
    Fax: 248.341.2118
    foia@oaklandcc.edu

What kind of response can I expect to my request?

  • Within five (5) business days after receiving a FOIA request, OCC will issue a response. If a request is received by fax or email, the request is deemed to have been received on the following business day. OCC will respond to your request in one of the following ways:
     
    • Grant the request;
    • Issue a written notice denying the request;
    • Grant the request in part and issue a written notice denying in part the request;
    • Issue a notice indicating that due to the nature of the request, OCC needs an additional ten (10) business days to respond for a total of no more than fifteen (15) business days. Only one such extension is permitted; or
    • Issue a written notice indicating that the public record requested is available at no charge on OCC’s website.
       
  • If the request is granted, or granted in part, OCC will ask that payment be made for the allowable fees associated with responding to the request before the public record is made available.
     
  • If the cost of processing a FOIA request is $50.00 or less, the requester will be notified of the amount due and where the documents can be obtained.
     
  • If the cost of processing the request is expected to exceed $50.00, or if you have not paid for a previously granted request, OCC will require a deposit before processing the request.

What are OCC’s deposit requirements?

  • If OCC has made a good faith calculation that the total fee for processing the request will exceed $50.00, OCC will require that you provide a deposit in the amount of 50% of the total estimated fee. Payment may be made by check, money order or credit card as detailed on the response form. When OCC requests the deposit, it will provide a non-binding best efforts estimate of how long it will take to process the request after you have paid your deposit. Deposits are non-refundable.
     
  • If OCC receives a request from a person who has not paid OCC for copies of public records made in fulfillment of a previously granted written request, OCC will require a deposit of 100% of the estimated processing fee before it begins to search for the public record for any subsequent written request when all of the following conditions exist:
     
    • The final fee for the prior written request is not more than 105% of the estimated fee;
    • The public records made available contained the information sought in the prior written request and remain in OCC’s possession;
    • The public records were made available to the individual, subject to payment, within the best effort time frame estimated by OCC to provide the records;
    • Ninety (90) days have passed since OCC notified the individual in writing that the public records were available for pickup or mailing;
    • The individual is unable to show proof of prior payment to OCC; and
    • OCC has calculated an estimated detailed itemization that is the basis for the current written request’s increased fee deposit.
       
  • OCC will not require the 100% estimated fee deposit if any of the following apply:
     
    • The person making the request is able to show proof of prior payment in full to OCC;
    • OCC is subsequently paid in full for all applicable prior written requests; or
    • Three hundred sixty five (365) days have passed since the person made the request for which full payment was not remitted to OCC.
       
  • If a deposit is not received by OCC within 48 days from the date that the notice of deposit requirement is sent, and if the requesting person has not filed an appeal of the deposit amount, the request shall be considered abandoned by the requesting person and OCC is no longer required to fulfill the request. Notice of a deposit requirement must include notice of the date by which the deposit must be received, which date is 48 days after the date the notice is sent.
     
  • The College will treat multiple concurrent FOIA requests on the same topic(s) and/or regarding the same record keeper(s) and from the same person as one FOIA request for purposes of determining whether the fee is below $50.00.

How does OCC calculate FOIA processing fees?

The Michigan FOIA statute permits OCC to charge for the following costs associated with processing a request:

  • Labor costs associated with copying or duplication, which includes making paper copies, making digital copies, or transferring digital public records to non-paper physical media or through the Internet.
     
  • Labor costs associated with searching for, locating and examining a requested public record, when failure to charge a fee will result in unreasonably high costs to OCC.
     
  • Labor costs associated with a review of a record to separate and delete information exempt from disclosure, when failure to charge a fee will result in unreasonably high costs to OCC.
     
  • The cost of copying or duplication, not including labor, of paper copies of public records. This may include the cost for copies of records already on OCC’s website if you ask for OCC to make copies.
     
  • The cost of computer discs, computer tapes or other digital or similar media when the requester asks for records in non-paper physical media. This may include the cost for copies of records already on OCC’s website if you ask for OCC to make copies.
     
  • The cost to mail or send a public record to a requestor.

Labor Costs

  • All labor costs will be estimated and charged in 15 minute increments, with all partial time increments rounded down. If the time involved is less than 15 minutes, there will be no charge.
     
  • Labor costs will be charged at the hourly wage of the lowest-paid College employee capable of doing the work in the specific fee category, regardless of who actually performs work.
     
  • Labor costs will also include a charge to cover or partially cover the cost of fringe benefits. College may add up to 50% to the applicable labor charge amount to cover or partially cover the cost of fringe benefits, but in no case may it exceed the actual cost of fringe benefits.
     
  • Overtime wages will not be included in labor costs unless agreed to by the requestor; overtime costs will not be used to calculate the fringe benefit cost.
     
  • Contracted labor costs will be charged at six times Michigan’s current minimum wage hourly rate.

A labor cost will not be charged for the search, examination, review and the deletion and separation of exempt from nonexempt information unless failure to charge a fee would result in unreasonably high costs to OCC. Costs are unreasonably high when they are excessive and beyond the normal or usual amount for those services compared to OCC’s usual FOIA requests, because of the nature of the request in the particular instance. OCC must specifically identify the nature of the unreasonably high costs in writing.

Copying and Duplication

A fee may be charged for the labor cost of copying/duplication. OCC will use the most economical method for making copies of public records, including using double-sided printing, if cost-saving and available.

Non-paper Copies on Physical Media

  • The cost for records provided on non-paper physical media, such as computer discs, computer tapes or other digital or similar media will be at the actual and most reasonably economical cost for the non-paper media.
     
  • This cost will be charged only if OCC has the technological capability necessary to provide the public record in the requested non-paper physical media format.

Paper Copies

  • Paper copies of public records made on standard letter (8 ½ x 11) or legal (8 ½ x 14) sized paper will not exceed $.10 per sheet of paper.
     
  • Copies for non-standard sized sheets will paper will reflect the actual cost of reproduction.

Mailing Costs

  • The cost to mail public records will use a reasonably economical and justified means.
     
  • OCC may charge for the least expensive form of postal delivery confirmation.
     
  • No cost will be made for expedited shipping or insurance unless you request it.

Waiver of Fees

The cost of the search for and copying of a public record may be waived or reduced if in the sole judgment of the FOIA Coordinator a waiver or reduced fee is in the public interest because it can be considered as primarily benefitting the general public.

How do I qualify for an indigence discount on the fee?

The FOIA Coordinator will discount the first $20.00 of fees for a request if you submit an affidavit stating that you are:

  • Indigent and receiving specific public assistance; or
     
  • If not receiving public assistance, stating facts demonstrating an inability to pay because of indigence.

You are not eligible to receive the $20.00 discount if you:

  • Have previously received discounted copies of public records from OCC twice during the calendar year; or
     
  • Are requesting information on behalf of other persons who are offering or providing payment to you to make the request.

May a nonprofit organization receive a discount on the fee?

A nonprofit organization advocating for developmentally disabled or mentally ill individuals that is formally designated by the state to carry out activities under subtitle C of the federal developmental disabilities assistance and bill of rights act of 2000, Public Law 106-402, and the protection and advocacy for individuals with mental illness act, Public Law 99-319, may receive a $20.00 discount if the request meets all of the following requirements in the Act:

  • Is made directly on behalf of the organization or its clients.
  • Is made for a reason wholly consistent with the mission and provisions of those laws under section 931 of the mental health code, 1974 PA 258, MCL 330.1931.
  • Is accompanied by documentation of its designation by the state, if requested by the public body.

How may I challenge the denial of a public record or an excessive fee?

Appeal of a Denial of a Public Record

If you believe that all or a portion of a public record has not been disclosed or has been improperly exempted from disclosure, you may appeal by filing a written appeal of the denial with the Chancellor at pmproven@oaklandcc.edu.

The appeal must be in writing, specifically state the word “appeal,” and identify the reason or reasons you are seeking a reversal of the denial.

Within ten (10) business days of receiving the appeal, the Chancellor will respond in writing by:

  • Reversing the disclosure denial;
  • Upholding the disclosure denial; or
  • Reverse the disclosure denial in part and uphold the disclosure denial in part.

Whether or not you submitted an appeal of a denial to the Chancellor, you may file a civil action in Oakland County Circuit Court within 180 days after OCC’s final determination to deny your request. If you prevail in the civil action the court will award you reasonable attorneys’ fees, costs and disbursements. If the court determines that OCC acted arbitrarily and capriciously in refusing to disclose or provide a public record, the court shall award you damages in the amount of $1,000.

Appeal of an Excess FOIA Processing Fee

If you believe that the fee charged by OCC to process your FOIA request exceeds the amount permitted by state law, you must first file a written appeal for a fee reduction to the office of the Chancellor.

The appeal must specifically state the word “appeal” and identify how the required fee exceeds the amount permitted.

Within ten (10) business days after receiving the appeal, the Chancellor will respond in writing by:

  • Waiving the fee;
  • Reducing the fee and issue a written determination indicating the specific basis that supports the remaining fee;
  • Upholding the fee and issue a written determination indicating the specific basis that supports the required fee; or
  • Issuing a notice detailing the reason or reasons for extending for not more than 10 business days the period during which the Chancellor will respond to the written appeal.

Within forty-five (45) days after receiving notice of the Chancellor’s determination of the processing fee appeal, you may commence a civil action in Oakland County Circuit Court for a fee reduction. If you prevail in the civil action by receiving a reduction of 50% or more of the total fee, the court may award all or appropriate amount of reasonable attorneys’ fees, costs and disbursements. If the court determines that OCC acted arbitrarily and capriciously by charging an excessive fee, court may also award you punitive damages in the amount of $500.