What is the Maine Freedom of Access Act?

The Maine Freedom of Access Act (“FOAA”) grants the people of Maine a broad right of access to public records while protecting legitimate governmental interests and the privacy rights of individual citizens. The act also ensures the accountability of government to its citizens by requiring public access to the meetings of public bodies as well as public records. Transparency and open decision-making are fundamental principles of the Maine Freedom of Access Act, and they are essential to ensuring continued trust and confidence in our government. The City of Biddeford is required to comply with Maine's Freedom of Access Act. A full text of the Act is available through the Maine Legislature's Statues website.

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1. What is the Maine Freedom of Access Act?
2. What is a public record?
3. What is a FOAA request?
4. Does the FOAA request have to be in writing?
5. What should my FOAA request say or include?
6. Who should I send my FOAA request to within the City?
7. Does the City have to acknowledge receipt of my request?
8. Is the City authorized to ask me for clarification concerning my request?
9. Does an City have to estimate how long it will take to respond to my request?
10. In what form can I expect the records to be in response to my FOAA request?
11. Can I be charged for the FOAA Request?
12. Is the City subject to penalties for failure to comply with the Freedom of Access Act?