Request for Information - FOIA
Dorchester School District Four (DD4) conducts public business in a transparent
manner, and fully complies with the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act
(FOIA). DD4 makes it possible for the public to have access to public
records in accordance with this act.
The FOIA provides the public with access to a public agency’s existing records
that are not subject to an exemption under the law.
Section 30-4-20(c) of the FOIA defines a “public record” as “all books, papers,
maps, photographs, cards, tapes, recordings, or other documentary materials
regardless of physical form or characteristics prepared, owned, used, in the
possession of, or retained by a public body.”
categories of documents such as personnel records; student records; tests and
examinations used to evaluate student or employee performance; records relating
to the security of students, staff, or property; records protected from
disclosure under attorney-client privilege; and executive session materials are
exempt from disclosure under Section 30-4-40.
Please note that South Carolina law (FOIA Section 30-4-50) prohibits the
obtaining or use of public records for commercial solicitation.
All requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) must be submitted in
writing to the district’s Office of Human Resources. You may send your request
by email or by letter to the Director of Human Resources, Dorchester School
District Four, 500 Ridge Street, St. George, South Carolina 29477.
In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act, for current records, the
district has 10 business days (excluding weekends and legal public holidays) to
determine if the record requested is publicly available under the FOIA.
Following notification of the determination to the person making the request,
or, if a deposit has been requested and has been paid, the district then has 30
calendar days to actually produce the records responding to the FOIA request.
For records that are more than 24 months old, the district has 20 business days
(excluding weekends and legal public holidays) to determine if the information
requested is publicly available and 35 calendar days after notifying the
requestor of its determination or, after a requested deposit has been paid, to
actually produce the records.
All deadlines may be extended by mutual agreement of the requester and the
district and this agreement shall not be unreasonably withheld.
Required information — Please include all information listed in the DD4 FOIA Request
Fees — Section 30-4-30(B) of the FOIA allows the district to charge reasonable
fees for the search, retrieval, or redaction of records. The fees must
represent the lowest possible cost and cannot exceed the actual cost of
producing the requested records. If it is determined by the district that the
information requested is primarily benefiting the general public, the district
may reduce or waive the fee.
A deposit not to exceed 25 percent of the total reasonably anticipated costs
for production of the records may be required prior to searching for or making
copies of records. This includes, but is not limited to, charges for staff time
and the cost of searching, retrieving, redacting and copying records. Any
applicable fees must be paid prior to receipt of the requested records.
The law does not require the district to generate or create records that do not
The requester has the right to receive an electronic transmission of the public
record, if those records are in an electronic format. If records are not in
electronic format and the district agrees to produce them in electronic format,
the district may charge for the staff time required to transfer the documents
to electronic format. Fees may be charged for search time, but no copy charges will
apply to records transmitted in an electronic format.
Once the district receives a written FOIA request, the district will provide
the requester with an estimate of the costs. DD4 may require the requester send
a deposit of 25 percent of the estimated cost before the district will begin
the process of producing the records requested. The remaining balance of the
cost must be paid at the time of production of the records.
DD4 uses the following fee structure for filling FOIA requests:
Copying (up to size 11x17): 11 cents per page, (black/white copies only)
Record research: Hourly fee shall be based on the lowest hourly rate of the
person qualified to research the requested records.
Redaction: Some records contain confidential information that may need to be redacted
before they can be released. The hourly fee for redaction will be based on the
lowest hourly salary of the person who is cleared to redact the confidential