FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
Mr. Carl Brakman
Newport News, VA
The staff of
the Freedom of Information Advisory Council is authorized
to issue advisory opinions. The ensuing staff advisory opinion
is based solely upon the information presented in your e-mail
of January 28, 2001.
Dear Mr. Brakman:
You have asked whether
a public school may charge $0.25 per page for copies of records
under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
Subsection A of
§ 2.1-342 of the Code of Virginia provides that all public
records shall be open for inspection and copying to citizens
of the Commonwealth. Subsection F of § 2.1-342 states that
a public body may make reasonable charges for its actual
cost incurred in accessing, duplicating, supplying, or searching
for the request records... Any duplicating fee charged by
a public body shall not exceed the actual cost of duplication.
As a result, so long as $0.25 does not exceed actual costs,
the school is within it rights to charge that amount per page.
For your information,
please note that under FOIA you have a right of inspection.
Therefore, as a requestor, you may simply request to inspect,
but not copy, the records, thereby avoiding the $0.25 per
page copy charge.
Thank you for contacting
this office. I hope that I have been of assistance.
Maria J.K. Everett