In order to help reporters and the public with access to public records and public meetings, the State of Ilinois created the position of Public Access Counselor (PAC). The post is part of the Illinois Attorney General’s office and has statutory authority to intervene, settle and litigate open records cases on behalf of the public.
The PAC may issue binding rulings requiring public bodies to disclose public information and may also issue advisory opinions on open records requests as well. Other responsibilities include responding to informal inquiries and providing education materials.
A statement from the The Illinois Attorney’s Generals office spells out the general scope of the position, with additional links to help with specific topics.
- Educational Materials
To provide education materials to the public and to respond to informal inquiries.
- Advisory Opinions
To issue advisory opinions on FOIA and OMA in response to requests by public bodies.
- Mediate Disputes
To work to resolve or mediate disputes between members of the public and public bodies concerning FOIA requests and compliance with OMA.
- Requests for Review
To investigate and issue opinions in response to Requests for Review submitted by members of the public when a FOIA request has been denied by a public body or when it is alleged that a public body has violated OMA.
- Binding Opinions
To issue binding opinions on FOIA and OMA in response to Requests for Review submitted by members of the public.
- Electronic Training
To provide electronic training to all FOIA Officers and all persons designated by public agencies to receive OMA training.
Reporters and the public can get assistance by contacting the PAC at the following address.
Public Access Counselor
Office of the Attorney General
500 S. 2nd Street
Springfield, Illinois 62701
Fax: (217) 782-1396
Many of the Links Provided by Illinois Attorney General’s Office.