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


ADVISORY OPINIONS ISSUED

2018

Opinion No. Issue(s)

January


AO-01-18

FOIA provides that public records must be disclosed except as otherwise specifically provided by law. Tax code provisions such as § 58.1-3 are "as otherwise specifically provided by law." The statutory authority of this office is limited to FOIA matters.

February


AO-02-18

A motion to convene a closed meeting must identify the subject of the meeting, the purpose of the meeting, and the exemption(s) which allow the meeting to be closed. A motion that fails to identify the subject, or lacks any other element, is insufficient. There is no general exemption for public bodies to discuss police investigations in closed meetings. Votes are required to be taken at open meetings; decisions made in closed meetings are not effective until a vote is taken at an open meeting.

March


AO-03-18

The definition of "public body" includes, among other
entities, "any committee, subcommittee, or other entity
however designated, of the public body created to perform
delegated functions of the public body or to advise the
public body." A budget task force appointed by a school
superintendent that advises the superintendent is not a
"public body" under this definition.

May


AO-04-18

Discusses general open meetings requirements of public bodies and their committees as well as obligations of public bodies in response to a request for public records. A public body is not required to record open meetings itself but must afford the public the opportunity to record the meetings. A committee of a public body is not required to record minutes of an open meeting if the committee membership is comprised of less than a majority of the public body membership. While a public body must post a link on its website to any routine exemption policy for records, there is no requirement as to how that policy is formed or that the policy be contained in a physical policy document. A public body must state in writing the reasons why public records are not provided in response to a request for public records.
   

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