S.C. Freedom of Information Act

Public Official's Guide to Compliance with the S.C. Freedom of Information Act

View Guide as a PDF | Order Printed Copies

The latest version of the Public Official's Guide to Compliance with the S.C. Freedom of Information Act is correct as of May 2017. Please make sure you are using the PDF or printed copy with the green cover. (If your cover is yellow, blue, or purple, you have an outdated guide.) This guide contains the entire text of the law, as well as a section-by-section plain language explanation of the law.

To order printed copies, contact Jennifer Faulkner at jfaulkner@scpress.org or 803.750.9561. Individual copies are available for $4 each. Quantity discounts are available. All prices include shipping.

  • 1-24 copies: $4 each
  • 25-49 copies: $3.50 each
  • 50-99 copies: $3.25 each
  • 100+ copies: $3 each

More FOI Resources and Guides

How to file an FOI request

How to respond to an FOI request

Citizen's Guide to the Freedom of Information Act

Detailed report on other state laws and regulations deal with the release of public information, by USC graduate student Katie Beck

What to do when they close court or meeting

Cameras in the Courtroom

Easy to understand flowchart on agendas and the FOIA

SCPA Freedom of Information Committee

SCPA's FOI Committee is charged with the following tasks and responsibilities:

  • Dealing with open government issues and initiatives
  • Setting long-term FOI objectives and priorities
  • To determine positions on particular bills if needed
  • To advise the professional staff on how particular FOI issues and bills will affect the industry
  • To assist in direct lobbying contact as set out by the committee, the chairman or the executive director
  • To assist in administering FOI Fund assistance through its chairperson

SCPA's FOI Committee Members for 2018:

  • Richard S. Whiting, FOI Chair
    Index-Journal, Greenwood
    Email: rwhiting@indexjournal.com
    Phone: (864) 223-1411
  • Taylor M. Smith IV, Attorney, S.C.  Press Association
  • Jay Bender, Attorney, S.C.  Press Association
  • Martin Cahn, Chronicle-Independent, Camden
  • Jeffrey Collins, Associated Press, Columbia
  • Katrice Hardy, The Greenville News
  • Cliff Harrington, The Herald, Rock Hill
  • Travis Jenkins, The News & Reporter, Chester
  • Don Kausler Jr., Morning News, Florence
  • Patricia O'Connor, Coastal Carolina University
  • Graham Osteen, The Sumter Item
  • Mitch Pugh, The Post and Courier, Charleston
  • Andy Shain, The Post and Courier, Charleston
  • Mike Smith, Herald-Journal, Spartanburg
  • Gina Smith,The State, The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette, Columbia
  • Brian Tolley, The State, The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette, Columbia
  • Bill Rogers, Executive Director
    S.C.  Press Association
    Email: brogers@scpress.org
    Phone: (803) 750-9561
  • Jen Madden, Assistant Director
    S.C.  Press Association
    Email: jmadden@scpress.org
    Phone: (803) 750-9561

Additional FOI Resources

Open Government Guide for South Carolina
Prepared by SCPA Attorney Jay Bender for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. This online guide includes: categories, including access to government budgets, epidemiological records and economic development records; specific category breakdowns on access to email, real estate and investigatory records, which enable users to better find and compare information.

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the PressNFOIC Member
The RCFP is one of the major sources of information on what's happening in media law and publishes News Media and Law, a comprehensive examination of media law issues and cases.

National Freedom of Information Coalition
This umbrella organization for the state freedom of information groups holds a yearly conference to discuss problems in the states. Their website provides contact information for all state FOI groups and other related links.
SCPA's FOI Committee is the NFOIC's affiliate for the Palmetto State.

S.C. FOI News
SCPA shares news related to the FOIA on our Facebook page daily. We also offer a weekly recap of FOI news and analysis in our eBulletin newsletter. View past issues and subscribe. Visit If you have FOI news to share, contact Jen Madden.

FOI Hotline
Do you have questions about what is or isn’t a public record or open meeting? SCPA members with an FOI question may call the FOI Hotline at (803) 750-9561 or email SCPA.

Sunshine Week
Sunshine Week, an annual nationwide celebration of access to public information and what it means for you and your community, will take place March 10-16, 2019.