Freedom of Information Act (HR FAQs)
Home Page

  jobs.sc.gov  

Hot Topics

Career Opportunities

Employee Services

Employer Services

Training & Development

How to Contact Us

OHR Webmail

Other Agencies

State Employees
Weather Alert

Sam Wilkins, Director
South Carolina Office
of Human Resources
8301 Parklane Road
Suite A220
Columbia, SC 29223
Phone: (803) 896-5300

INSPECTOR GENERAL'S
FRAUD HOTLINE

(State Agency fraud only)

1-855-SCFRAUD
or
1-855-723-7283

  • SC Code of Laws §§ 30-4-10 through 30-4-165


  • State HR Regulations Section 19-703.05 Adobe Acrobat and Section 19-720.03 Adobe Acrobat



  • General Information

    Q: What does the Freedom of Information Act address?

    A: The Freedom of Information Act addresses the availability of public
    records and the accessibility to public meetings of public bodies.


    Information To Be Disclosed

    Q: What employment information does the Freedom of Information Act generally
    make public information?


    A: The names, sex, race, title, and dates of employment of all employees
    and officers of public bodies are generally made public information by the
    Freedom of Information Act.

    Q: What does the Freedom of Information Act generally allow a public body
    not to disclose regarding employment information?


    A: In general, the Freedom of Information Act allows, but does not
    require, a public body to exempt from disclosure the following employment
    information:

    1. information of a personal nature which would constitute unreasonable
    invasion of personal privacy;
    2. all compensation with certain exemptions;
    3. information discussed in a public meeting during executive session; and
    4. certain materials on not fewer than the final three applicants under
    consideration for a position.


    Exceptions to Disclosure

    Q: What are the limitations on disclosing a public employee's salary?

    A: An employee’s salary can be disclosed within the following
    limitations:

    A. Employees earning $50,000 or more annually, part-time employees, persons
    paid an honoraria or other compensation for special appearances, performances,
    or the like, and employees at the level of agency/department head.

    Information Disclosed
    Disclose exact compensation.

    B. Classified/unclassified employees, including contract instructional
    employees (not subject to A. above) earning $30,001 to $49,999.

    Information Disclosed
    Disclose compensation level within a range of $4,000 beginning at $30,001.

    C. Classified employees (not subject to A. above) earning $30,000 or less
    annually

    Information Disclosed
    Disclose the position's salary range.

    D. Unclassified employees, including contract instructional employees (not
    subject to A. above) earning $30,000 or less

    Information Disclosed
    Disclose compensation level within a range of $4,000, such ranges to commence
    at $2,000 and increase in increments of $4,000.

    Q: Can an employee request that a public body hold a meeting open to the
    public to discuss that employee's employment information?


    A: If an adversary hearing involving the employee is being held, the
    employee has the right to demand that the hearing be conducted publicly.

    Q: What information under the Freedom of Information Act can be released
    about the applicants for a position?


    A: Generally, all materials on at least the final three applicants under
    consideration for a position, regardless of form, gathered by a public body
    during a search to fill an employment position may be released. The information
    that may not be released includes the applicant’s income tax returns, medical
    records, social security number, or information otherwise exempt from
    disclosure.



    Cost of Information

    Q: May an agency charge a fee for information requested under the Freedom of
    Information Act?


    A: The public body may establish and collect fees not to exceed the
    actual cost of searching for or making copies of records. Fees charged by a
    public body must be uniform for copies of the same record or document.



    Response Time Frames

    Q: What are the time frames for responding to a Freedom of Information
    request?


    A: Generally, an agency must respond to a written request within 15 days
    (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) of the receipt of the
    request, except as otherwise provided by SC Code of Laws § 30-4-40, in
    accordance with reasonable rules concerning time and place of access.



    Requesting Information

    Q: Is a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act
    required to be in writing?


    A: Generally, a request to the Office of Human Resources must be in
    writing for information under the Freedom of Information Act except when the
    requestor appears in person for certain information under the SC Code of Laws §
    30-4-30(d).