The Virginia FOIA Opinion Archive

(optional)

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-07-07

A center for independent living that receives 93% of its funding from public sources is a public body subject to FOIA.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-06-07

Meetings must be noticed for the time when they actually begin. A public body must approve by vote in an open meeting a motion to convene a closed meeting, and must certify the closed meeting after reconvening in open session. The motion and certification must be included in the meeting minutes, along with records of the votes taken to approve the motion and certification.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-05-07

The student government of a public institution of higher education is a public body subject to FOIA. The branches of student government are analogous to the organization of government generally (i.e., legislative, executive, and judicial). (Several other related issues discussed.)

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-04-07

The authority of the FOIA Council is limited by statute to providing advisory opinions and guidance regarding FOIA. An opinion advising on the interaction of boat titling and registration laws with provisions of the Government Data Collections and Dissemination Practices Act would be beyond the authority of this office.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-03-07

An electronic mail message header showing the time and date when the message was received by a public body may not be withheld as documentation or other information that describes the design, function, operation or access control features of any security system under subdivision 3 of § 2.2-3705.2.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-02-07

A public body may charge for the actual cost of staff time spent redacting records in response to a request. It may not charge any additional fee for a separate legal review of the same records.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-01-07

The closed meeting exemption for consultation with counsel regarding specific legal matters may not be used for the purpose of discussing a general policy in the absence of any specific legal transaction or dispute.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-10-06

A nonprofit foundation created by private citizens that voluntarily works with localities for the public good, but does not receive public funding, is not a public body subject to FOIA.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-09-06

An entity (in this case, a redistricting committee assisting a school board) that states that its meetings are open to the public should provide public notice of those meetings, whether or not the entity is subject to FOIA.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-08-06

Animal licensing records are open to the public under FOIA and §3.1-796.86. Public bodies should not collect from citizens information that will become part of a public record unless such collection is required or necessary to the mission of the public body.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-06-06

Opining whether a FOIA provision violates substantive due process under the federal Constitution is beyond the authority of the FOIA Council.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-05-06

A request for statutes and regulations granting legal authority to a public body is not a request for public records as contemplated by FOIA. FOIA expressly provides the procedure to follow if a public body needs additional time to respond to a request. A response that does not meet the procedural requirements of FOIA is not a proper response.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-04-06

There is no special exemption in FOIA for a joint committee of conference of the General Assembly to hold a closed meeting on a budget bill.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-03-06

It is beyond the scope of the FOI Advisory Council's authority to interpret the rules of either house of the General Assembly. There is no joint conference of the General Assembly after adjournment sine die.

FOI Advisory Council Opinon AO-02-06

Gathering of quorum from both a town council and a planning commission, on a topic that had once been before the council and was likely to be before it again, should have been advertised to the public as a joint meeting of both entities.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-01-06

FOIA requires that meeting minutes contain a summary of the discussion on matters proposed, deliberated or decided, and a record of any votes taken. Public bodies should always include in meeting minutes a summary of any matter that appears on the agenda for that meeting and of any matters that are the subject of a motion or vote.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-05-05

At present, there is no requirement for public body to tell records requester that the records asked for do not exist. If original records are legible, the copies should be, too. Publilc body cannot require requester to inspect records rather than copy them. Public body not required to recreate lost records or records no longer in its possession.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-06-05

If a public body elects to abstract or summarize records, it can only charge for such a newly created record after a prior agreement with the requester.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-11-05

Question on whether meeting of liaison committee of school board and board of supervisors was subject to FOIA depends on status of members as a subcommittee or quorum of their respective public bodies.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-08-05

Accident reports containing information on juveniles are not to be treated any differently than reports containing information on adults

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-09-05

Financial status of Virginia Performing Arts Foundation is difficult to ascertain by a non-fact-finding entity, such as the Freedom of Information Advisory Council. VPAF does not appear to be a public body at the time of the FOIA request being made here. Many of the records in the possession of a party not subject to FOIA will often be in the possession of the public entity the party is receiving funding from. That two members of a public body also serve as members of the board of a private entity does not by itself transform that private entity in a public body subject to FOIA.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-10-05

Study commission appointed to advise public body is also a public body. Public body may impose restrictions on placement and use of recording devices, but may not prohibit recording.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-07-05

Nothing in FOIA prohibits the release of the name of a juvenile shot and killed by a police officer, but §16.1-301 appears to serve as a broad prohibition against the release of law-enforcement records relating to juvniles.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-04-05

a list of websites and keywords blocked by the school district's computer network firewall may be exempt from disclosure because those records may reveal the design and/or function of part of the school's security system.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-03-05

personnel files at most governmental agencies are available to the subject of the records, but not if the subject is the employee of an educational agency.

Pages