Freedom of Information Act Procedure
Executive Director/CEO or his designee is designated as the FOIA Officer. That officer may designate other individuals to fulfill the duties of the FOIA Officer position.
All The COMET employees must forward FOIA requests to the FOIA Officer, and must endeavor to assist, guide, and cooperate with the FOIA Officer. If any The COMET employee receives a FOIA request, that employee must direct it to the FOIA Officer upon receipt.
Upon receipt of the FOIA Request, The FOIA Officer shall attempt to locate the items requested in accordance with SC Law and report back to the FOIA requester within ten days (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) of the receipt of the request, notify the person making the request of its determination and the reasons for it; provided, however, that if the record is more than twenty-four months old at the date the request is made, the FOIA Officer has twenty days (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) of the receipt to make this notification.
If the request is granted, the record must be furnished or made available for inspection or copying no later than thirty calendar days from the date on which the final determination was provided, unless the records are more than twenty-four months old, in which case the FOIA Officer has no later than thirty-five calendar days from the date on which the final determination was provided by the FOIA Officer.
If a deposit as provided, the record must be furnished or made available for inspection or copying no later than thirty calendar days from the date on which the deposit is received, unless the records are more than twenty-four months old, in which case the FOIA Officer has until no later than thirty-five calendar days from the date on which the deposit was received to fulfill the request. The full amount of the total cost must be paid at the time of the production of the request.
The FOIA Officer shall confer with the Executive Director/CEO and/or Legal Counsel regarding what is allowed to be provided to the requester based on what is allowable by SC Law.
The FOIA Officer is not required to create an electronic version of a public record when one does not exist to fulfill a records request.
The COMET may establish and collect fees for FOIA requests. The COMET may establish and collect reasonable fees not to exceed the actual cost of the search, retrieval, and redaction of records. The fee for the search, retrieval, or redaction of records shall not exceed the prorated hourly salary of the lowest paid employee who, in the reasonable discretion of the Executive Director/CEO, has the necessary skill and training to perform the request.
Fees charged by The COMET must be uniform for copies of the same record or document and may not exceed the prevailing commercial rate for the producing of copies. The Executive Director/CEO will consult with other governmental agencies and print shops to determine the prevailing commercial rate for producing copies during the first quarter of each fiscal year. Copy charges may not apply to records that are transmitted in an electronic format. If records are not in electronic format and the FOIA Officer agrees to produce them in electronic format, The COMET shall charge for the staff time required to transfer the documents to electronic format.
The records must be furnished at the lowest possible cost to the person requesting the records. Records must be provided in a form that is both convenient and practical for use by the person requesting copies of the records concerned, if it is equally convenient for the FOIA Officer to provide the records in this form.
Documents may be furnished when appropriate without charge or at a reduced charge where the FOIA Officer 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.
Fees may not be charged for examination and review to determine if the documents are subject to disclosure.
The fee schedule is set by the Executive Director/CEO each fiscal year during the first quarter and is posted online at www.CatchTheCOMET.org.