To Whom Applicable: Public Bodies

FOI Advisory Council opinion AO-02-23

A Governor-elect's transition teams generally would not be public bodies subject to FOIA unless they are supported wholly or principally by public funds. Transition team records might be public records subject to FOIA (i) if the transition team is a public body because it is supported by public funds or (ii) if transition team records are possessed by another public body in the transaction of public business. Applying FOIA's narrow construction rule for exemptions, the working papers and correspondence exemption, subdivision 2 of § 2.2-3705.7, may only be used by those listed in the exemption itself. While the "Office of the Governor" is listed in the exemption, "Governor-elect" is not and therefore, a Governor-elect may not use the working papers and correspondence exemption.

Stanfield v. Norfolk (Circuit Court)

A Norfolk circuit judge ruled that elected officials are not public bodies who have to respond to FOIA requests, the public body's response obligations are triggered when one of those officials receives a request. The judge also makes rulings on providing a "legal address" in a request and on unauthorized prepayment requirements for requests estimated at under $200.

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-02-21

The Parole Board is largely excepted from FOIA, but that exception only applies to the Board itself. However, the Office of the State Inspector General (OSIG) may withhold certain records it receives from the Board pursuant to the administrative investigation exemption at subdivision 7 of § 2.2-3705.3. The same exemption requires that OSIG must release records of completed investigations in redacted form. FOIA does not prohibit the release of OSIG reports by members of the General Assembly, but it would be beyond the statutory authority of this office to opine whether other laws outside of FOIA may act as such prohibitions on voluntary disclosure.

Schilling v. JAUNT (general district court)

Albermarle General District Court Judge Matthew J. Quatrara ruled that the Jefferson Area United Transportation (JAUNT) service meets the definition of a public body and is thus subject to FOIA. Including money it gets from federal sourcces, JAUNT is "wholly or principally" supported by taxpayer funds. The judge said their was no statutory authority or court precedent to assume that federal funds should be excluded from the definition of "wholly or pincipally."

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-01-20

Closed meeting motions must include a subject, purpose, and citation and must be set forth in detail in the meeting minutes. Votes taken after a closed meeting must reasonably identify the substance of the vote. Meeting minutes must include a summary of the discussion on matters proposed, deliberated or decided, and a record of any votes taken.

Transparent GMU v. George Mason, Supreme Court opinion

GMU Foundation not subject to Virginia FOIA and not a university agent, therefore university not responsible for accessing foundation's records, either.

Attorney General opinion 19-023

The Tourism Council of the Greater Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance is a public body subject to FOIA.

FOI Advisory Council opinion AO-01-19

Access to health records is addressed by FOIA and other specific laws outside of FOIA. Where the laws differ, the more specific provisions are controlling.

Transparent GMU v. George Mason University order

A Fairfax Circuit County judge's order on various pretrial motions in a case brought by a transparency group against George Mason University and the George Mason University Foundation, Inc.

Davison v. Dunnavant

Virginia state senators are not individually subject to FOIA. (OVERRULED by a subsequent decision)



Subscribe to RSS - To Whom Applicable: Public Bodies