Sunrise over V.A. Capitol.
VIRGINIA FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ADVISORY COUNCIL
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA


AO-18-01

March 16, 2001

Mr. Robert T. Fisk
Marshall, 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 telephone conversation of February 14, 2001.

Dear Mr. Fisk:

You have asked whether a public body needs to give three working days' notice for a change in the location of a meeting for which notice has already been given under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). You also ask whether a public body must update changes to a meeting notice posted on the Internet. You indicate that on Friday, February 9, you found a notice for a school board meeting scheduled for Monday, February 12 posted on the Internet. When you arrived at the meeting at the stated time and location, no one was there. You then proceeded to the school board offices, where you found a note on the door indicating that the location of the meeting had been changed.

You first ask how many days prior notice a public body must give for a change in location of a meeting for which notice has already been given. Subsection C of 2.1-343 of the Code of Virginia requires a public body to give notice of the date, time, and location of its meetings ... posted at least three working days prior to the meeting. Because notice of the location of the meeting must be given at least three working days in advance of the meeting, it follows that a change in location must also be posted at least three working days in advance.

You next ask if changes to the time, date, or location of a meeting must be updated on the Internet, if the public body posts notice of its meetings in this manner. Subsection C of 2.1-343 requires meeting notices to be posted in a prominent public location at which notices are regularly posted and in the office of the clerk of the public body, and encourages publication of notices by electronic means. Any changes to the original notice would need to be updated everywhere the original notice was posted. Thus, if a public body posts a notice electronically on the Internet, it would need to update that notice with any changes just as it would need to update the notice at the clerk's office and anywhere else it was physically posted. As discussed in response to your previous question, notice of the changes in the location, date or time of the meeting must be made at least three working days prior to the scheduled meeting.

Thank you for contacting this office. I hope that I have been of assistance.

Sincerely,

Maria J.K. Everett
Executive Director

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