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VIRGINIA FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ADVISORY COUNCIL
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

2021 Subcommittees

The 2021 Session1 of the General Assembly referred three bills to the FOIA Council for
study during the interim. At its meeting on April 28, 2021, the FOIA Council established
two subcommittees to study these bills and other issues as described below.

1. Meetings Issues Subcommittee

The Subcommittee consists of Council members Seltzer (chair), Bujakowski, Coleburn, Conrad, James, and Del. Wampler. The Subcommittee will study House Bill 1997 (Murphy, 2021), summarized as follows:

Virginia Freedom of Information Act; definition of "meeting." Increases from three to four the number of members of a public body meeting as an informal assemblage that constitutes a meeting under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

The Subcommittee will also study other issues related to electronic meetings as needed, including the issue of whether a public body must use a ".gov" website as its "official public government website" for meeting notices.

Meetings Scheduled:

Wednesday, May 26, 2021, at 1:00 p.m., Virtual Meeting
Agenda
Summary
Signed Final Order in Gent v. Adams
VPA Comments
Joshua Heslinga Remarks

Michael Molloy Remarks
Ann Harbour Remarks
Meeting Video (.mp4)

Thursday, June 24, 2021, at 1:00 p.m., Virtual Meeting
Agenda
Bill Draft
VCOG Remarks
AAUW-VA Remarks
GOVA Region 6 Remarks
Chuck Anderson Remarks
Jere Gibber Remarks
Alyia Gaskins Remarks
Norma Kacen Remarks
Julie Waters Remarks
Harriet Hirsch Remarks
Jane Materna Remarks
Kathryn Chiasson Remarks
Joseph Swartz Remarks

 


2. Records Issues Subcommittee

The Subcommittee consists of Council members Conrad (chair), O'Berry, Potter, Seltzer, Treadway, and Wade. The Subcommittee will study House Bill 2000 (Roem, 2021) and House Bill 2196 (Mullin, 2021). The bills are summarized as follows:

  • HB 2000 - Virginia Freedom of Information Act; charges for production of public records. Prohibits a public body from charging a requester for any costs incurred during the first two hours spent accessing or searching for requested records when such requester has made four or fewer individual records requests to such public body within 31 consecutive days. The bill provides that for any additional time spent accessing or searching for such records, or when such requester makes five or more individual records requests to such public body within any 31-consecutive-day period, the public body shall not charge an hourly rate for accessing or searching for the records exceeding the lesser of the hourly rate of pay of the lowest-paid individual capable of fulfilling the request or $33 per hour. The bill also requires public bodies to post on their website or otherwise publish a written policy (i) explaining how the public body assesses charges for accessing or searching for requested records and (ii) noting the current fee charged, if any, by the public body for accessing and searching for the requested records.
  • HB 2196 - Virginia Freedom of Information Act; required release of law-enforcement disciplinary records; exceptions. Requires the release of law-enforcement disciplinary records related to completed disciplinary investigations. The bill defines "law-enforcement disciplinary records" as any record created in furtherance of a law-enforcement disciplinary proceeding or any other administrative or judicial proceeding, whether such proceeding takes place in the Commonwealth or in another jurisdiction. The bill allows for the redaction of certain personal contact information of the law-enforcement officer, complainant, and witness or their families; social security numbers; and certain medical information of the law-enforcement officer and complainant.

Meetings Scheduled:

Tuesday, May 18, 2021, 12:00 p.m., Virtual Meeting
Agenda
Summary
VCOG Fees White Paper
Fairfax County FOIA FY 2020 Annual Report
Fairfax County FOIA FY 2019 Annual Report
Fairfax County Countywide FOIA Policy
Public Access to Police Disciplinary Files
VPA Comments
Peter Lubeck Remarks
Gregory Will Remarks
Michael Jones Remarks
Andy Ellington Remarks
Cullen Seltzer Remarks
Martin Crim Remarks
Meeting Video (.mp4)

Monday, June 14, 2021, 1:00 p.m., Virtual Meeting
Agenda

Summary
Presentation: Fee Provisions from Other States
Virginia Innocence Coalition Testimony
Tom Synan/Tom Thompson Remarks
Town Damascus Remarks
Doug Goodman Remarks
Kamran Afzal Remarks
Thomas Clark Remarks
William Jacoby Remarks
Robert Zullo Remarks
Angela Turpin Remarks
Meeting Video (.mp4)

 

 

1Including both the 2021 Regular Session and 2021 Special Session I of the General Assembly.

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