Traverse City Housing Commission
TC Housing: A Public Housing Authority plus...

TCHC FOIA Policy

  1. Purpose. It is the intent of this policy to provide clear-cut procedures for citizens and Traverse City Housing Commission (TCHC) employees and officials in disclosing public records. The intent of this policy is to comply in all respects with the FOIA, but in the unintended event of a conflict, the FOIA shall control and be deemed a part of this policy.
  2. FOIA Coordinator.   The Executive Director of the TCHC is hereby designated and delegated duties as the FOIA Coordinator. With the exception of Section 4 of this Policy, all Commissioners and employees receiving document disclosure inquiries shall immediately transfer them to the FOIA Coordinator. All written requests for public records shall be forwarded to the FOIA Coordinator to keep for no less than one year.
  3. Procedure. With the exception of information requested described in Section 4 of this Policy, all responses to requests for information under the FOIA shall be forwarded to and reviewed by the FOIA Coordinator prior to granting the request according to the following procedure:
    • Requests to review and for copies of records under the FOIA shall be in writing.
    • The request shall be date-stamped by the receiving department.
    • The request shall immediately be forwarded to the FOIA Coordinator.
    • The FOIA Coordinator shall distribute the request to all applicable departments, who shall return the information to the FOIA Coordinator.
    • The FOIA Coordinator shall prepare the response, with review by the TCHC Attorney when appropriate.
  4. Rules to Prevent Excessive and Unreasonable Interference with TCHC Functions.
    • Records may be personally examined only during normal business hours, i.e., between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. on Friday on TCHC business days and such requests shall be routed through the FOIA Coordinator.
    • TCHC staff shall be given ample opportunity to review files for exempt or privileged records prior to allowing public examination.
    • TCHC staff may defer a request to personally examine records within the time limits indicated in the FOIA.
  5. Rules to Protect Records. To protect records from loss, unauthorized alteration, mutilation, or destruction, each department and/or program may adopt rules to protect the records for each department and/or program. The following are general records protection rules for all departments and programs:
    • Records are to remain in the departmental vicinity while being reviewed.
    • Records are not to be altered in any manner.
    • Pens are not allowed in record review rooms.
    • Copies of records are to be made by TCHC staff or its designee, with the exception of microfilmed records. Microfilmed records may be made by the person reviewing the records at the discretion of the FOIA Coordinator.
    • For documentation purposes, staff shall keep copies of or a list of documents released or copied.
    • Records may not be removed from binders.
    • Records within files shall be kept intact and in order.
    • Copies of TCHC computer records shall be made on computer discs or flash drives provided by TCHC.
    • Copies of audio tapes shall be made on audio tapes provided by TCHC.
    • Records to be copied may be identified by tape flags or “Post-It” notes, by separate written description, or by inserting loose paper between pages.
    • Copyrighted material shall not be photocopied.
  6. Fees
    • 10 cents per page for 8 ½” x 11” and 8 ½” x 14”
    • Actual costs for all other sized pages
    • Actual costs for non-Paper Physical Media such as computer discs, flash drives or other digital media devices
    • Actual costs if duplication requires outside services
    • Double-sided copies shall be made when possible and is cost saving
    • Actual mailing and packaging costs shall be charged at the reasonable economical and justified rate.
    • The labor cost to locate, separate exempt from non-exempt, and copy/duplicate records, including 40% overhead, of the lowest paid employee capable of performing such work regardless if that employee is available.
    • Costs set by Law. Documents which are required to be prepared and sold for a specific fee under Michigan or federal law shall be sold in accordance with the applicable Michigan or federal law.

      The FOIA Coordinator is authorized to establish such other fees and charges in situations not covered by this policy. TCHC may require a deposit from the person requesting the public record or series of public records if the fees will exceed $50.00 as determined by a good faith estimate prepared by the FOIA Coordinator. The deposit shall not exceed one-half of the total fee for the request.

    • TCHC may require a deposit of 100% of the estimated processing fee before beginning to search for a public record if the following conditions exist:
      • the final fee for a 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 TCHC’s possession;
      • the public records were made available to the individual, subject to payment, within the time frame estimated by TCHC to provide the records;
      • 90 days have passed since the FOIA Coordinator 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 TCHC; and
      • the FOIA Coordinator has calculated a detailed itemization that is the basis for the current written request’s increased estimated fee deposit.
    • The FOIA Coordinator shall not require an increased 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 TCHC;
      • TCHC is subsequently paid in full for the applicable prior written request; or
      • 365 days have passed since the person made the request for which full payment was not remitted to TCHC.

      A copy of a public record shall be furnished without charge for the first $20.00 of the fee for such request if the individual requesting such information submits an affidavit demonstrating that the individual is receiving public assistance, or if not receiving public assistance, is unable to pay the cost because of indigence consistent with the provisions of FOIA.

  7. Appeals. TCHC Board of Commissioners. A requesting person before filing an appeal with the Circuit Court pursuant to Section 10 of the FOIA may file a written appeal to the TCHC Board of Commissioners. TCHC Board of Commissioners shall receive the appeal at is next regular meeting and shall respond to the written appeal not more than 10 business days after receiving a written appeal. TCHC Board of Commissioners may take any of the following actions in response to the filing of an appeal:
    • Reverse the denial.
    • Issue a written notice to the appellant affirming the denial.
    • Reverse the denial in part and issue a written notice to the appellant affirming the denial in part.
    • If necessary due to unusual circumstances, issue a notice extending for not more than 10 business days the period during which the TCHC Board of Commissioners may respond to the appeal.
  8. Exemptions. The FOIA Coordinator is authorized to exempt from disclosure a public record pursuant to Section 13 of the FOIA, and on appeal, the TCHC Board of Commissioners is authorized to so exempt a public record.

 

Adopted August 16, 2005

Amended August 19, 2008

Amended April 19, 2011

Amended June 16, 2015

Traverse City Housing Commission

150 Pine Street
Traverse City , MI   49684

Phone: (231) 922-4915
Fax: (231) 922-2893

Office Hours:
Monday-Thursday 8AM - 4:30PM
Friday: 8AM - 12:00PM (noon)
Closed on weekends