Openness in City Government & FOIA

Openness In City Government From the Mayor

My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in city government, not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because openness will strengthen our city government by making it more effective and accountable.

We must all work together to establish a system of transparency, public participation, and accountability. This commitment to transparency promotes accountability and provides information for our citizens about what their city government is doing, and an informed and engaged public can improve the quality of our decisions.

We have embraced new technologies to put information about operations and decisions online and make it readily available to the public, and we value public feedback to identify additional information of greatest use to the public.

Public documents must be open to inspection and copying by any citizen of the State of Arkansas, within 3 business days, upon request in accordance with the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), but we should attempt to provide access even sooner. The requester may examine records and request copies of documents, and it is the policy of this Administration to provide those documents as soon as possible in accordance with the FOIA. 

It is also the policy of my administration for custodians of the records to recommend that sustainable measures be encouraged, such as the use of CD, DVD, jump drives, or e-mailed scanned documents to avoid the use of paper that causes a negative environmental impact.

Requesting information

Public records are open to inspection and photocopying during business hours, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except holidays). 

You may submit a request for documents to the City of Fayetteville's Mayor's Office by calling 479-575-8330 and asking for the Communications Director for submission of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. 

When you make your request for documents, please provide an email or phone number (both if available) so that we may contact you to best assist in obtaining the public documents you want and provide them to you as soon as possible. While it is not necessary to complete a FOIA Request Form with the City of Fayetteville to acquire public documents, we provide one for your convenience. 

Consistent with state law, we will respond as quickly as possible to all documents requested by citizens, allowing them to examine the records and providing copies of all public information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use.

Such copies of documents in the form of CD, DVD or jump drive are to be provided at the actual cost of the CD, DVD, or jump drive, or at no charge if the requesting citizens provide their own data storage devices.

If the requester prefers paper copies, we will provide paper copies free to the requester if the cost is under $2, which conforms to the policy of the City Clerk’s Office. If the request is over $2, a charge for each sheet will be at cost, and no copy will cost over $0.5 per sheet. The actual cost is the standard we use to comply with a FOIA request. Larger paper documents, such as maps, will be more expensive, but the standard remains that the cost will be judged by the actual cost of the copies.

If you have questions about the Freedom of Information Act or a particular request, please contact the Communication Director Lisa Thurber by email or by calling 479-575-8330, or call the City Attorney’s Office at 575-8313.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The State Attorney General's Office, along with the Arkansas Press Association, has generated a handbook on the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.

You may contact the attorney general's office at the FOIA hotline, 800-482-8982, to request a copy of the handbook or with any FOIA questions. The handbook is available online in Adobe Acrobat format at the Arkansas Press Association website. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to view it, which is also available at the website.