South Carolina Freedom of Information Act

South Carolina Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Section 30-4-10

The South Carolina Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is part of the South Carolina Code of Laws allowing any citizen to have access to public records and to meetings of public bodies with some exceptions as defined in the Act.

This policy is applicable to all departments under the supervision of the Beaufort County Administrator, and to any board or commission whose members are appointed by the County Council of Beaufort County, South Carolina, the governing body of Beaufort County Government.

In accordance with the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act, Beaufort County has 15 working days (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) to determine if the information requested is publicly available under the Freedom of Information Act.

Exemptions from the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act Section 30-4-40/30-4-50 and Section 3-2-50

According to the SC Code of Laws, Beaufort County may choose to deny a FOIA request based on exemptions noted in the law. Commonly denied requests include:

  • Obtaining or using any personal information acquired from a state agency for commercial solicitation.
  • Matters requesting the identity, or information tending to reveal the identity, of any individual who in good faith makes a complaint or otherwise discloses information, which alleges a violation or potential violation of law or regulation, to a state regulatory agency.
  • Documents or reports being requested in a special format or one that must be created by Beaufort County that is not already in existence.

Beaufort County Freedom of Information Request Form

Fill out and submit or copy and mail the online FOIA request form to:

Beaufort County FOIA Services
c/o Records Management Department
Post Office Drawer 1228
Beaufort, SC 29901-1228

Cost Associated with Freedom of Information Act Requests Section 30-4-30 (B)

Make checks or money orders payable to Beaufort County Treasurer, and include your FOIA case number on the payment.

Elevation Certificate: No Charge for certificate or research time
Research Time: $14.00 per hour (does not apply to Elevation Certificate)
USB 2.0 Flash drive: $ 7. 00 (if the information requested is over 10mb)
Paper Copy: $ 0 .20 per page
Video Duplication: $15.00
GIS Maps: $10.00 (up to 11x17 in.) or $20.00 (larger than 11x17 in.)
Notary $5.00 per file
Certified Copies from Clerk of Court $3.00 per copy
Postage: Determined by weight

Beaufort County will provide a written response to include the cost for the request within 15 working days from the date the request was received. Any request received after 4:30pm Monday through Friday will be considered as having been received on the following work day. Upon payment for the cost of the request, all records will be made available to the requester. Records Management will hold the request for up to two weeks pending payment before closing the FOIA request. For further assistance, please contact the FOIA Specialist at 843-255-7200.

To submit a Freedom of Information Act Request, ceritfy that you have read and acknowledge the information above by selecting "ACCEPT".