Freedom of Information Act Requests
Pursuant to the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the South Carolina Commission for the Blind (SCCB) will provide copies of public records unless the records are otherwise exempt from disclosure (SC Code 30-4-40). However, it is unlawful for any person to solicit, disclose, or receive any information concerning applicants, consumers or former consumers of SCCB services without the written consent of the applicant or consumer. Such information cannot be obtained by submitting a FOIA request. In addition, under the Family Privacy Protection Act (SC Code 30-2-50), it is unlawful for any person to obtain personally identifiable information from a state agency for the purpose of commercial solicitation.
How to request information
All FOIA requests must be made in writing.
Provide as much information about the desired records (i.e., information/documents) as possible.
Provide your complete contact information (full name, title, organization, mailing address, and phone number). Provide a telephone number where you can be reached between 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. SCCB may contact you to obtain additional information necessary to fulfill your request.
Submit your FOIA request by mail to:
South Carolina Commission for the Blind
1430 Confederate Avenue
Columbia, SC 29201
or by email to:
Responding to a FOIA request
When SCCB receives a FOIA request, it will determine if it has any records responsive to the request. If needed, SCCB will consult legal counsel regarding materials exempt from FOIA under federal and state laws.
SCCB will provide written notification of its initial determination within
- 10 business days from receipt if the records are under 24 months old, or
- 20 business days from receipt if the records are more than 24 months old.
records are more than 24 months old.
If SCCB has no relevant records OR the records are not publicly available, it will provide that reason.
If SCCB has records that are relevant to the request and are not exempt materials, it will provide or make available the requested record(s) within
- 30 calendar days from the written notification if the records are under 24 months old, or
- 35 calendar days from the written notification if the records are more than 24 months old.
- See SC Code 11-35-410 for response requirements regarding FOIA requests for certain procurement documents.
If a deposit is required (see “Fees” below), the deadlines listed above begin with the date the deposit is received.
SCCB may provide relevant records in paper or electronic format or make them available for review at its Columbia office. SCCB may respond electronically to requests that are made electronically with a PDF or other comparable medium.
SCCB will include the following notice with all FOlA responses (paper or electronic):
“Section 30-2-50 (A) of the Code of Laws of the State of South Carolina provides that ‘a person or private entity shall not knowingly obtain or use personal information obtained from a [public body] for commercial solicitation directed to any person in this State.’ A person who knowingly uses public records for commercial solicitation ‘is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined an amount not to exceed five hundred dollars or imprisoned for a term not to exceed one year, or both.’ See SC Code 30-2-50 (D). SCCB, as a public entity, gives notice to you, as a requestor of records from this agency, that obtaining or using these public records for commercial solicitation is prohibited.”
FOIA allows fees to be collected to cover the cost of responding to a FOIA request. Fees for search, retrieval, and redaction of records will not exceed the prorated hourly rate of the lowest paid employee who has the necessary skills and training to fulfill the request. SCCB may assess the following fees for a FOIA request:
- $20.00 per hour for search, retrieval, and redaction of records
- $20.00 per hour for transfer of records to electronic format
- $ 0.50 per page letter/legal size
- $10.00 per electronic delivery method (i.e., flash drive, etc.)
- Non-standard page sizes and postage will be billed at the actual cost to SCCB
- Additional fees may be assessed if records are requested in an accessible format and will be billed at the actual cost to SCCB
SCCB will notify you in advance if the FOlA request will result in a charge and/or deposit. SCCB will include the approximate cost for providing the records. Your acceptance of the charges must be in writing.
Payment in part or in full for a FOlA request will be required by SCCB prior to the release of any records. If the cost of responding to a request is estimated to be $200 or more, SCCB may require deposit not to exceed 25 percent of the cost of production to furnish the records. Requests for payment in advance will be in writing.
Payment for FOlA requests should be made payable to “SC Commission for the Blind” (check or money order).