The DeKalb County government employees got some insight Thursday night into how to comply with the Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act. These rules are invoked frequently when the actions of area governments and other public bodies come under scrutiny.
Leah Bartelt of the Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Bureau offered an in-depth explanation of the state’s FOIA and OMA rules.
The two laws are commonly invoked when journalists and members of the public are trying to get more information about official government business. DeKalb County State’s Attorney Rick Amato said the session is meant to help clear up questions on how government officials avoid breaking these laws.
Amato said it's important for officials to conduct "a quick fact check, making sure you're on top of what you're supposed to be doing. 'Am I a public body that’s required to follow it? Am I in violation?’"
About 35 people attended the training, including county officials and members of the public. Amato says the county may offer a similar training session in the summer.