FREEDOM OF INFORMATION
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
Rights & Responsibilities
The Model Rights & Responsibilities Template has been
updated to reflect changes in the law effective July 1, 2009
to § 2.2-3704.1 [Senate Bill 1316 (c. 626)(2009)]. Specifically,
sections have been added to list generally the types of records
an agency has and the exemptions commonly used.
update your websites to reflect this change.
The Model Rights & Responsibilities Template
was previously updated to reflect changes in the law effective
July 1, 2007 to § 2.2-3704 [House Bill 1791 (c. 439)(2007)].
Specifically, please see item #4 under the heading "Responsibilities
in Responding to Your Request."
July 1, 2004, § 2.2-3704.1 of the Code of Virginia [House
Bill 358 (c. 730) (2004)] will require state agencies
in the executive branch of government to post information
on their websites concerning the rights of requesters of Virginia
government records and the responsibilities of state agencies
under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.
assist agencies in complying with these new requirements,
the FOIA Council has developed a model template that can be
used, with some modification, by each agency in developing
and posting this policy statement. The changes and additions
that will need to be made by each agency include:
the document agency-specific. The template refers generically
to "the Department." A specific agency name would
need to be inserted in its place.
new law requires that contact information be provided for
a person within each agency designated to assist requesters,
and to whom FOIA requests can be sent. Space has been provided
on the template for this information to be filled in.
new law requires each agency to state its policy about types
of records it routinely withholds. The template lists a
few records exemptions applicable to all state agencies.
However, each agency will need to identify other exemptions
it routinely uses for inclusion in the document.
agency may also wish to amend any other provisions of the
template to more accurately reflect it's policies concerning
FOIA requests. For example, an agency may have an existing
policy to only charge a requester for records if the cost
of the request exceeds $15. In that case, the agency would
want to amend the section of the template addressing costs
to capture this agency-specific policy.
Rights & Responsibilities Template
of the FOIA Council will be happy to assist any agency in
adapting this template to reflect its particular policies
and commonly-used exemptions. Please contact the FOIA Council
at (804) 225-3056, [toll free] 1-866-448-4100, or at email@example.com
to set up an appointment.
the new requirements of § 2.2-3704.1 only apply to state
public bodies in the executive branch of government, this
model template may also be useful to local public bodies.
Localities are encouraged to use this template in formulating
a policy for responding to FOIA requests and to aid requesters
in making requests. Staff of the FOIA Council will also be
happy to assist localities in using this template.