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FOIA Procedures and Guidelines
A. Appointment of FOIA Coordinator
In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), MCL 15.231 et seq., the Michigan Bureau of State Lottery Bureau) has appointed a FOIA Coordinator and an Assistant FOIA Coordinator. These coordinators have the following roles:
- The Bureau's FOIA Coordinator will respond to requests pertaining to the State Lottery. (“Lottery FOIA Coordinator”).
- The Bureau's Assistant FOIA Coordinator will respond to requests pertaining to Charitable Gaming (“Charitable Gaming FOIA Coordinator”).
The names of these persons are available from the Bureau’s Executive Office.
B. Submission of FOIA Request
Requests for records regarding the State Lottery and Charitable Gaming must be submitted separately.
Requests for records regarding the State Lottery can be sent to:
Address: Michigan Bureau of State Lottery
Attn: Lottery FOIA Coordinator
101 E. Hillsdale, Box 30023
Lansing, MI 48909
Requests for records regarding Charitable Gaming can be sent to:
Address: Michigan Bureau of State Lottery
Charitable Gaming Division
Attn: Charitable Gaming FOIA Coordinator
101 E. Hillsdale, Box 30023
Lansing, MI 48909
Requests must include your name, phone number, mailing address, and email address.
C. Immediately Forward FOIA Request
Any employee of the Bureau who receives a written request for a public record must immediately forward that request to the Lottery FOIA Coordinator, if the request pertains to the State Lottery, and to the Charitable Gaming FOIA Coordinator, if the request pertains to Charitable Gaming. If a Bureau employee receives a written request for a public record that is delivered to a spam or junk-mail folder in their email account, the employee must record the date and time the written request was delivered to the spam or junk-mail folder and date and time the employee first becomes aware of the written request. The employee must forward those dates and times to the appropriate coordinator, along with the written request.
D. Request Response Time
Coordinators will respond to a request within 5 business days. Coordinators may extend the time for responding by an additional 10 business days by notifying the requesting person in writing of the reason for the extension and the new due date. MCL 15.235(2)(d) and (6). Due to the short statutory time period within which the Bureau must issue a written notice in response to the FOIA request, it is imperative that there be no delay in complying with the Bureau's procedures and guidelines.
E. Notification of FOIA Request
Upon receipt of a FOIA request, the coordinator responsible for responding to it will contact, and forward a copy of the FOIA request, to the division(s), section(s), and/or employee(s) that the coordinator believes might possess records responsive to the request. The division(s), section(s), and/or employee(s) will determine whether they possess responsive records.
F. Response to the Coordinator
As soon as possible, but not later than two business days before the FOIA response is due, a response from the division(s), section(s), and/or employee(s) is due to the coordinator processing the request.
G. Assessment of Fees for a FOIA Request
The FOIA permits the Bureau to charge a fee for the search, retrieval, examination, review, and separation and deletion of exempt from nonexempt material where failure to charge a fee would result in unreasonably high costs to the Bureau due to the nature of the request in the particular instance. The Bureau will specifically identify the nature of these costs in its response. MCL 15.234(1) and (3).
The following fee guidelines for calculating labor and material costs incurred in processing FOIA requests are established pursuant to MCL 15.234(3) as follows:
- Fee calculations will be uniform and not dependent upon the identity of the requesting person.
- Fees will be itemized using the attached detailed itemization form and will include:
a. Labor costs for the search, location, and examination of public records will be calculated using the hourly wage of the Bureau’s lowest paid employee capable of conducting the search, location, and examination, whether or not they are available or actually perform the labor. Such labor costs shall be estimated and charged in increments of 15 minutes with all partial increments rounded down. The hourly wage will be based on the Bureau’s most recent payroll records.
b. Labor costs for the review of public records and separation and deletion of exempt from nonexempt material will be calculated using the hourly wage of the Bureau’s lowest paid employee capable of conducting the review and separation and deletion of exempt from nonexempt material, whether or not they are available or actually perform the labor. Such labor costs shall be estimated and charged in increments of 15 minutes with all partial increments rounded down. The hourly wage will be based on the Bureau’s most recent payroll records.
c. Non-paper physical media costs will be calculated using the actual and most reasonably economical cost of computer discs, computer tapes, and other digital and similar media provided by the Bureau.
d. Duplication and publication costs will be calculated using the actual total incremental cost of necessary duplication or publication of a public record, not including labor. The actual and incremental cost, calculated per sheet, shall be charged and will not exceed ten cents per sheet of paper for letter or legal size paper. The Bureau shall use the most economical means available for making copies, including the use of double-sided printing, if cost-saving and available.
e. Labor costs for the duplication or publication of public records, including making paper copies, making digital copies, or transferring digital public records to be produced on nonpaper physical media or through electronic means, will be calculated using the hourly wage of the Bureau’s lowest paid employee capable of duplicating or publishing the public records, whether or not they are available or actually perform the labor. Such labor costs shall be estimated and charged in increments of 15 minutes with all partial increments rounded down. The hourly wage will be based on the Bureau’s most recent payroll records.
f. Actual costs of mailing using a reasonably economical and justifiable manner.
- If the Bureau does not employ a person capable of separating and deleting exempt information from nonexempt information in the particular instance as determined by a coordinator on a case-by-case basis, it may treat necessary contracted labor costs used for the separating and deleting of exempt information from nonexempt information in the same manner as employee labor costs when calculating charges under this subdivision if it clearly notes the name of the contracted person or firm on the detailed itemization used to respond to the request. Total labor costs calculated under this subdivision for contracted labor costs shall not exceed an amount equal to 6 times the state minimum hourly wage rate determined under section 4 of the Workforce Opportunity Wage Act.
- With the approval of the Commissioner, a coordinator and requester may stipulate to allow for Bureau employees to work overtime to satisfy a response to a FOIA request and include overtime wages in the fee assessment.
- Section 3(3) of the FOIA, MCL 15.233(3), provides, in part, that “[a] public body shall protect public records from loss, unauthorized alteration, mutilation, or destruction.” A Bureau employee will be required to monitor personal inspection of original records. Labor costs for monitoring will be calculated using the hourly wage of the Bureau’s lowest paid employee capable of monitoring the inspection. The hourly wage will be based on the Bureau’s most recent payroll records.
- If a statute authorizes the sale or production of public records to the public for a specified fee or if a fee for production of public records is otherwise set by statute, the Bureau will charge the statutory fee in lieu of a fee calculated using the guidelines set forth above.
- The Bureau will not charge a fee if its costs are $20.00 or less. If the Bureau’s costs are more than $20.00, a fee will be charged in accordance with this procedure pursuant to section 4 of the FOIA, MCL 15.234.
H. Deposit Requirements
If the Bureau estimates a fee to process a FOIA request greater than $50.00, the Bureau will require a good-faith 50% deposit before providing the requested records. Any written notice containing a deposit requirement will include a best-efforts estimate of the time it will take the Bureau to provide the records after the deposit is received. The estimated time is not binding on the Bureau, but the Bureau will provide the estimated time in good faith, strive to be reasonably accurate in its estimate, and provide the public records in a manner consistent with the State’s public policy and the nature of the particular request.
I. Response to a FOIA Request
Only a coordinator will deny FOIA requests. The Bureau will either provide copies of these procedures and guidelines and a summary of these procedures and guidelines with each written response or provide a link to an online version of these documents. If a request is denied, in full or in part, the Bureau will provide the requester an explanation of the basis of the denial under the FOIA, and give notice to the requester of his or her remedial rights. MCL 15.235(4).
J. Appeals of Fees and Disclosure Determinations
If the Bureau charges a fee or denies all or part of a request, the requester may submit a written appeal to the Lottery Commissioner that specifically states the word “APPEAL” and identifies the basis for which the fee should be reduced or the denial should be reversed. Written appeals must be sent to the mailing address listed above and will be forwarded to the Commissioner or the person designated by the Commissioner to respond to written appeals.