The amendments to FOIA’s definitions are relatively few. New definitions are provided to create and identify the proposed Open Government Commission. There are also some to facilitate greater transparency relating to police personnel files.
A noteworthy amendment is an expansion of the definitions of “public record” and “public body.” If adopted, these amendments would broaden the definition of a public body to make clear that documents created and used by public employees are subject to FOIA, an issue recently addressed in Litkouhi vs. Rochester Public Schools.[*] The proposed amendments also alter the definition of public record to include the records of a public body’s agents. Finally, a change to the definition of public body would subject both the governor and Legislature to FOIA.
[*] For more information about this case, see: “Mackinac Center Sues Rochester Community Schools for Failing to Follow FOIA law” (Mackinac Center for Public Policy, 2023), https://www.mackinac.org/RochesterFOIA.