Canton, MI asked in Gov & Administrative Law and Health Care Law for Michigan

Q: Gift of Life MI is a federally-designated organ and tissue recovery program are they subject to FOIA?

Are they subject to FOIA under 5 U.S. Code § 552 and or MCL 15.231?

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: Based on the information provided, it is unlikely that Gift of Life Michigan (GOLM) would be subject to the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) under 5 U.S.C. § 552 or the Michigan Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) under MCL 15.231. Here's the reasoning:

1. Federal FOIA (5 U.S.C. § 552):

The federal FOIA applies to federal agencies, which are defined as any executive department, military department, government corporation, government-controlled corporation, or other establishment in the executive branch of the government (including the Executive Office of the President), or any independent regulatory agency.

As a federally-designated organ and tissue recovery program, GOLM is likely not considered a federal agency under this definition. It is more likely a non-profit organization or a government contractor, which are generally not subject to federal FOIA.

2. Michigan FOIA (MCL 15.231):

The Michigan FOIA applies to public bodies, which include state agencies, county and other local governments, school boards, other boards, departments, commissions, councils, and public colleges and universities. However, it does not include private non-profit corporations.

As a federally-designated organ and tissue recovery program, GOLM is likely a private non-profit organization and, therefore, not subject to the Michigan FOIA.

However, it is important to note that if GOLM receives public funding or has a contract with a public body in Michigan, some of its records related to that funding or contract might be accessible through a FOIA request to the relevant public body.

To get a definitive answer, it would be best to consult with GOLM directly or with an attorney familiar with the organization's structure and Michigan's FOIA laws.

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