The Virginia FOIA Opinion Archive


Attorney General's Opinion 1983-84 #447

General fund revenue estimates prepared by the governor's advisory boards are considered working papers of the governor; Governor's budget advisory boards must follow FOIA's meeting requirements.

Attorney General's Opinion 1983-84 #436

When determining the actual cost of providing copies, a public body may take into consideration (1) number of hours reasonably necessary to compile, copy and assemble documents, (2) cost of computer time used and (3) costs of reproducing the records. If a document is created at the request of a citizen, even though the public body may receive a benefit from having permanent use of the document, it would not be unreasonable to pass on the expense of its production to the requestor if the requestor were notified in advance of the estimated cost of preparing the document.

Attorney General's Opinion 1982-83 #731

When government employee is being paid two salaries for two different government functions, only the one that meets the statutory minimum for disclosure under FOIA need be disclosed.

Attorney General's Opinion 1982-83 #708

Employment contract detailing salary is an official record. Salary of incoming dean at William and Mary subject to disclosure, regardless of the existence of an employment contract.

Attorney General's Opinion 1982-83 #724

A draft management letter is an official record.Working papers exemption lost when chief executive officer distributes a document to others.

Attorney General's Opinion 1982-83 #709

Circuit court clerks files that contain certain pre-sentence reports and juvenile records are not subject to disclosure under FOIA.

Attorney General's Opinion 1982-83 #727

FOIA allows, and no other code provision prohibits, the release of the names, telephone numbers and business-type information of local business licensees.

Attorney General's Opinion 1982-83 #729

School superintendent is the chief executive office of the school board for purposes of FOIA. A report prepared for use at a properly called executive meeting loses any exempt status if the essence of the report is discussed in an open meeting.

Attorney General's Opinion 1982-83 #707

The phrase submitted in confidence in the working papers exemption refers to reports submitted by those outside the agency, not to internal reports.

Attorney General's Opinion 1982-83 #726

A volunteer fire department is subject to FOIA if it is funded wholly or principally by public funds. Records regarding the suspension of a fire chief are confidential as part of the chief's personnel file.

Attorney General's Opinion 1982-83 #722

Tape recording of meeting is not an official record if used only as an aid for preparing written minutes.

Attorney General's Opinion 1982-83 #711

Lists of unclaimed property held by the police are exempt from disclosure if they are part of a criminal investigation.

Attorney General's Opinion 1981-82 #440

Though using the entire period to release a readily available record is not a technical violation of FOIA, it probably violates the spirit of the law where release would not have any way hampered the orderly administration of government.

Attorney General's Opinion 1981-82 #379A

Statistical information already accumulated by the commissioner of revenue may be released under FOIA.

Attorney General's Opinion 1981-82 #443

County-made maps are protected by copyright laws, and the county, as owner of the copyright has exlusive copying rights. County can charge no more than actual costs for making copies of maps.

Attorney General's Opinion 1981-82 #377A

The business address and type of business license granted is not information protected from disclosure by the tax code.

Attorney General's Opinion 1981-82 #438

Newsletters prepared by county administrator summarizing issues to be discussed at the next board of supervisors meeting are official records open to the public, even if some of the topics are the proper subject of a closed meeting.

Attorney General's Opinion 1981-82 #433

Neither applications nor the identities of those applying for nonpaying positions on public boards or commissions are exempt from disclosure as personnel records.

Attorney General's Opinion 1980-81 #394

Public salaries over $10,000 subject to mandatory disclosure; salaries under $10,000 may be disclosed voluntarily.

Attorney General's Opinion 1980-81 #395

Official records routinely generated in response to various statutes do not become the working papers of the chief executive officer merely because they are passed on to that office in the ordinary course of business.

Attorney General's Opinion 1980-81 #391

Arrest warrants and attached papers containing breath analysis results are exempt under FOIA until executed, and not exempt once executed. Official forms used to record the results of breath analyses are excluded from FOIA when their use is restricted to the preliminary determination to charge suspected violators.

Attorney General's Opinion 1980-81 #392

Records regarding the use of a sheriff's special account are official records,even if the account is not funded by the county or state, when the funds are used for a public purpose.

Attorney General's Opinion 1979-80 #389

Records of the identity of students participating in special education programs are exempt from disclosure under the scholastic records exemption. Nothing prevents intra-school board access to those records, though.

Attorney General's Opinion 1979-80 #385

Because nothing in FOIA demands confidentiality of any record or meeting, school board members-elect may attend executive sessions and review personnel records prior to taking office.