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Under the recent amendments to the Michigan Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), now effective July 1, 2015, does the township have to create a website to post meeting notices?

No. The website-related requirements under FOIA only apply if the township actually has an official internet presence. But, a township that “directly or indirectly administers or maintains an official internet presence…” must satisfy the website-posting requirements. This includes the requirement to post online the township’s procedures and guidelines for FOIA requests. Further, any record available on the township’s website is exempt from charges, and the FOIA coordinator must notify the requestor of the presence of the record on the website. 

We covered the recent changes to FOIA in the June Edition of the Township Focus, which is available here: 2015 FOIA Changes. We also addressed a question regarding FOIA last month in our Township Law Q&A column: Do the FOIA Amendments allow verbal requests?

It’s important that each township meet the requirements of FOIA by July 1, 2015. If your FOIA policies and procedures are updated in compliance with the law, consider getting up to speed on the Common FOIA Myths we covered in October: Common FOIA Act Myths.

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