Freedom of Information
The Virginia Freedom of Information Act
The VPA values an open and transparent government. We also value a vibrant and diverse press and an informed citizenry, which we believe are the pillars of a healthy democratic society. But most importantly, we value the public’s right to know.
The VPA believes in the public’s right to know what its government is doing. One of the major ways both the press and citizens can keep tabs on their government is through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
FOIA is the bedrock of government transparency, both at the state and federal levels. It ensures the right to know. The first line of the Virginia FOIA reads: “The statute ensures citizen access, with certain exceptions, to records and meetings of state and local government.” It is that access to records and meetings that serve as pillars for a transparent and open government.
Each year the VPA publishes the Reporter’s Guide to FOIA. The guide includes: the full FOIA statute in Virginia, amendments made to the statute that will be taking effect in the current year, examples of FOIA requests, contact information for the VPA’s FOIA Hotline and more.
FOIA Resources in Virginia
This hotline is set up for any VPA member to call if they have a question regarding a FOIA request. Each region of the state has a designated FOIA adviser.
Virginia FOIA Advisory Council is the designated council for all matters related to FOIA in Virginia.
Virginia Coalition for Open Government is an organization that specializes in advocating for more transparency in state government.
National Freedom of Information Coalition – National organization that specializes in FOIA.