Section 14: MCL § 15.244 – Separation of exempt and nonexempt material; design of public record; description of material exempted.
(1) If a public record contains material which is not exempt under section 13, as well as material which is exempt from disclosure under section 13, the public body shall must separate the exempt and nonexempt material and make the nonexempt material available for examination and copying. The public body must also describe, with as much specificity as possible, the nature of the exempt information, including details relating to the contents of the exempt material, the sender(s) and receiver(s) of any exempt correspondence, and other factual information which would better allow a requestor to determine whether an exemption is being applied properly. A public body need not provide information that would defeat the purpose of applying an exemption, but must provide as much information as possible without defeating the purpose of the exemption. This section is to be construed strictly against the public body.
(2) When designing a public record, a public body shall, to the extent practicable, facilitate a separation of exempt from nonexempt information. If the separation is readily apparent to a person requesting to inspect or receive copies of the form, the public body shall generally describe the material exempted unless that description would reveal the contents of the exempt information and thus defeat the purpose of the exemption.
The changes to this section clarify what a public body must do when applying redactions. Currently, public bodies can simply claim an exemption, redact information without specifying which exemption applies to individual redactions and provide no additional information. The amended language is designed to provide requestors with more information, including that which allows the requestor to better evaluate whether a claimed exemption is improper.