Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

VIRGINIA FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT Maria J.K. Everett, Executive Director VA Freedom of Information Advisory Council VA Freedom of Information Advisory.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "VIRGINIA FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT Maria J.K. Everett, Executive Director VA Freedom of Information Advisory Council VA Freedom of Information Advisory."— Presentation transcript:

1 VIRGINIA FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT Maria J.K. Everett, Executive Director VA Freedom of Information Advisory Council VA Freedom of Information Advisory Council

2 VA Freedom of Information Advisory Council, a state agency Issues advisory opinions –written, oral, Provides FOIA training –Annual FOIA Roadshow –Specialized training upon request Publishes educational material

3 PURPOSE Single Body of Law Every day application of “Government of, by and for the People” Predictable Behavior by Government

4 FOIA IS A BALANCE RIGHT OF ACCESS Versus NEED OF GOVERNMENT TO FUNCTION

5 –Regardless of physical form or characteristic; –However stored; –Owned or prepared by or in the possession of a public body or its officers, employees, or agents in the transaction of public business. PUBLIC RECORDS

6 Debunking FOIA Myths RECORDS not explanationsRECORDS not explanations Inspect or CopyInspect or Copy Not freeNot free FOIA doesn’t prohibit releaseFOIA doesn’t prohibit release Informal vs. formal requestsInformal vs. formal requests

7 FOIA REQUESTS DON’T: HAVE TO BE IN WRITING HAVE TO SAY “FOIA”

8 WHO HAS FOIA RIGHTS VIRGINIA CITIZENSVIRGINIA CITIZENS MEDIAMEDIA

9 MOTIVE IMMATERIAL

10 FOIA REQUIRES 5WORKING DAYS TO PRODUCE RECORDS -OR- TO SAY “NO”

11 RESPONSES YES NEED MORE TIME NO, in part - OR- NO, no records 5 DAYS 5 DAYS5 DAYS 5 DAYS 5 DAYS 5 DAYS5 DAYS5 DAYS

12

13 CHARGES SEARCH COSTSSEARCH COSTS ACCESSINGACCESSING SUPPLYINGSUPPLYING DUPLICATINGDUPLICATING

14 ACTUAL COSTS ONLY Hourly rateHourly rate NO fringe benefitsNO fringe benefits Ministerial actMinisterial act Reasonable, too.Reasonable, too.

15 ENFORCEMENT FOIA Suit by aggrieved party FOIA Suit by aggrieved party Burden of proof on GovernmentBurden of proof on Government Failure to follow FOIA deemed violation. Failure to follow FOIA deemed violation.

16 PENALTIES Pay legal bills of petitioner Pay legal bills of petitioner Mandamus or InjunctionMandamus or Injunction BAD PRESSBAD PRESS

17 PENALTIES “Knowing” and “Willful” Violations Up to $1,000 for 1 st violation.Up to $1,000 for 1 st violation. Up to $2,500 for any subsequent violation.Up to $2,500 for any subsequent violation. Paid by violator, not the government!Paid by violator, not the government!

18 Advisory Opinions VA Freedom of Information Advisory CouncilVA Freedom of Information Advisory Council Attorney GeneralAttorney General

19 Remember CallCall FOIA Council with ANY questions. ThereThere are NO stupid FOIA questions. Set “institutional culture” for compliance with FOIA. FOIA says —How and When to ACT; Not how to feel. It is NOT our individual sense of fairness, but the collective sense expressed in the law.

20 FOIA COUNCIL (toll free) Website:


Download ppt "VIRGINIA FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT Maria J.K. Everett, Executive Director VA Freedom of Information Advisory Council VA Freedom of Information Advisory."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google