Group offers primer on intergovernmental pacts in Illinois
Not all intergovernmental agreements or contracts entered into by public agencies are legal, and the public should not feel intimidated by the law and fail to question the agreements, the Edgar County Watchdogs (ECW) posted on their Illinois Leaks website recently.
"Over the years we have seen numerous Intergovernmental agreements/contracts and opinions on them, that we felt compelled to once again educate the public and public agencies to the truth of those agreements," the ECW wrote.
A party may enter into an intergovernmental agreement only if it is a public agency as defined by the Illinois Constitution of 1970. Some public entities exist according to the Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act but not under the Constitution, the ECW contended.
It is illegal to enter into an intergovernmental agreement that has not been authorized by law, and if an entity is considered a public body under FOIA and the OMA but not under the Constitution, it cannot enter such an agreement.
"No, we are not attorneys nor is this legal advice as defined by law, nor does it require a lawyer to understand the law and apply it," the group posted. " All too often we find people selling themselves short on their ability to comprehend the English language just because they are reading it from a State Statute... . It is time we stopped being intimidated by our laws, they are not hard to understand.