The City of Little Rock announced on Aug. 12 that it would be launching a webpage in order to better facilitate the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, in order to inform the public about all FOIA requests that are received by the City.
The webpage contains a form that Arkansas residents will be able to use in order to submit requests. The webpage also contains information about FOIA process requests and how Little Rock handles them. The site will also include information about laws surrounding FOIA.
To request public information, Little Rock encourages you to use the web form or send requests directly to the City’s FOIA coordinator via email at FOIA@LittleRock.gov.
There will be updated listings of every request received by Little Rock this year uploaded on the webpage. The listing will not only identify the requestor but the date requested, a description of the request and the status of completion.
Eventually, Little Rock is planning to include the most common public records requested via direct link on the webpage, in addition to links of documents provided to the public for specific FOIA responses. These more advanced features will likely go online after Sept. 1, the target implementation date for the new software the city has purchased in order to handle FOIA requests efficiently and effectively, according to the City of Little Rock.
“When we learned of the inefficiencies within our FOIA process this week, we immediately addressed them,” Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott, Jr., said in a statement. “Creating an easy-to-use webpage with contact details and with additional information about our FOIA requests is one step toward improving our response to public records requests.”
This news comes after FOIA-related changes were announced by Mayor Scott last week, after complaints of the process surfaced. Among these changes, the Mayor’s office announced the creation of a new FOIA Division at City Hall, which is led by Chief Deputy City Attorney Alex Betton.