FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-20-01
March 19, 2001
Mr. Rod Dillman
Deputy Superintendent of Schools, Botetourt County
The staff of the Freedom of
Information Advisory Council is authorized to issue advisory
opinions. The ensuing staff advisory opinion is based solely upon
the information presented in your phone conversation of March 16,
Dear Mr. Dillman:
You have asked whether the gathering of a two-person
subcommittee of a public body is subject to the open meeting
provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) . You
indicate that a five-member school board appointed two of its
members to serve on the board's budget committee, and that this
committee will provide budget suggestions and proposals to the
entire board. You ask whether a gathering of these two members
constitutes a meeting under FOIA.
In defining a public body, § 2.1-341 of the Code of
Virginia specifically includes any committee or subcommittee of
the public body created to perform delegated functions of the
public body or to advise the public body. The committee,
appointed to advise the school board about the budget, would be
considered a public body under FOIA. FOIA defines a meeting as a
gathering of (i) as many as three members or (ii) a quorum, if
less than three, of the constituent membership. Because the
committee is a public body comprised of only two members, a meeting
would take place every time the two members gathered to discuss or
transact public business. As such, the public must be notified of
all meetings of the committee, and all of its meetings must be open
to the public pursuant to FOIA unless a specific exemption
Thank you for contacting this office. I hope that I have been of
Maria J.K. Everett
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