Responses and a Question
Responses to Responses
- The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a provision in the U.S. Constitution and should be accessible to citizens. However, there are instances in which this provision is used for selfish gains of some individuals hence the need for control to its access. The answer in the first set reflects how FOIA can be accessed within a school setting through has elicited different opinions from knowledgeable people in societies where democracy is contradicted by the implementation of constitutional laws. In the second set of responses, guidelines on access to different types of information within a school setting is provided, confirming the perception that even within a school, some information has to be controlled.
- The U.S. provides a suitable benchmark for the way democracy works in a civil society. The freedom of information is considered a key element of human rights. As a result, most constitutional laws in the U.S. are intended to protect human civil liberties whenever possible. In spite of this, there is a tendency to request for payments for that information particularly among school districts. The responses in the two sets of discussion questions provide evidence that payment requests occur. In the first set, the explanation of payment as a good will does not make justifiable sense as that given for Howell District. It is understandable that the district requires payments for material expenses and not kickback. It would therefore be necessary to ask whether good will payments are necessary for information that is available to citizens.
- In each of the responses under consideration it is clearly mentioned that there are certain types of information that are exempted from FOIA. The response in the first set is however more detailed compared to the response in the second set. Protecting personal privacy is particularly a very essential part of data protection practice in the country. When advocating for FOIA exemption, it is important to ask to what extent the exemption should go with regards to protection of different types of information and this can be applied even in the school context.
- The responses to the fourth question also address the fees associated with access to information in a general context and within school district context respectively. In the response presented in the first set, the fee range is provided without clear guidance on the specific fees payable for distinct services. On the other hand, the response in the second set clearly states where to find the information specific for Howell school district.
- The fifth discussion question really brings to mind the scope of applicability of the FOIA. Through the questions that are mentioned directly in the response given in the first set, there is clear evidence of the grey areas surrounding the applicability of FOIA. In the second set, a new perspective arises in relation to the intent of e-mails and the role of technology. This perspective has to be considered when making the decision as to whether a particular case, such as Howell’s fits the consideration of FOIA.
- The two answers perfectly describe constitutional law within the context of U.S law.
Question to Responses
When considering FOIA and the handling of different kinds of information both in the U.S constitution and within the school district. The scope of application of the FOIA is also widely dependent on various factors including the type of information to be shared, the intention of sharing the message and the process of information sharing. There is however this unending need to understand the scope of applicability of the law. As an individual, what would you consider covered within the scope of FOIA?