FAQs & General FOIA

FOI Citizens' Guide

Virginia’s FOIA starts from the presumption that all government records and meetings are open and available to the public. A record cannot be withheld and a meeting cannot be closed unless a specific exemption applies, or unless some other statute in Virginia law applies. Just because an exemption could apply, however, doesn’t mean it must. Exemptions are discretionary, and they must be interpreted narrowly to increase awareness of all citizens of government activities. (§2.2-3700)

Getting a public record

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