Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Directive Streamlining Process for FOIA Requests

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed executive directive 2022-3 Friday, requiring State of Michigan departments to accept credit card payments for any fees pertaining to the production of records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Officials say the directive builds on efforts spearheaded by Attorney General Dana Nessel and her late Communications Director Kelly Rossman-McKinney to promote transparency.

This executive directive furthers transparency and openness in state government, making it easier for any Michigander to access department records,” said Governor Whitmer. “Effective immediately, all State of Michigan departments are required to begin modifying their systems to accept credit card payments for any fees associated with the production of records under FOIA.  We will continue getting things done and ensure we make improvements whenever possible.” 

This executive directive comes after executive directive 2019-11 that was signed by Governor Whitmer in her second month in office. Executive Directive 2019-11 directed all departments to make the process of requesting public records under the Freedom of Information Act user-friendly.

FOIA gives Americans the right to receive copies of or inspect most public records of public bodies upon request.

In some cases, according to officials, FOIA authorizes a government department to charge a fee to facilitate the delivery of requested records.

Friday’s executive directive streamlines the payment of any fees associated with accessing records by directing departments to accept credit card payments instead of requiring other forms of payment, such as a check.

To view the executive directive, click here.

Governor Whitmer has also taken steps to increase government transparency and accountability.

She established high standards of ethical conduct for employees within the executive branch, including all department directors and appointees, requiring reporting of irregularities relating to public money or property, banned the solicitation and receipt of political contributions in state government facilities, and prohibited the use of private email for the conduct of state business, among other actions.