To Whom Applicable: Public Bodies

FOI Advisory Council Opinion AO-10-07

Determining whether an entity is a public body as a committee, subcommittee, or other entity however designated of a public body depends on how the entity was formed and what functions it performs.

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-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-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-07-06

American Society of Civil Engineers is not a public body because its funding comes primarily from grants. Records provided by the body to the Secretary of Transportation or the Department of Rail and Public Transportation would be public records, though. And because of intense public interest, the ASCE "might wish to consider opening the meetings to the public and/or publicly releasing meeting minutes."

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 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-28-04

The issue of whether a private entity that receives less than 66 percent of its budget from governmental sources is principally supported by public funds must be considered on a case-by-case basis. The receipt by a private entity of public money derived from arm's length transactions, without any other source of public funds, should not be included in determining the private entity's status as a public body under FOIA. As such, the Peninsula SPCA is not a 'public body' and therefore is not subject to the records and meeting requirements of FOIA.

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