Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
Your FOIA Rights
- To request to inspect and/or receive copies
- To request that any charges for the requested records be estimated in advance
- To file a petition in district or circuit court to compel compliance if you believe that your FOIA rights have been violated
About Freedom of Information Act
The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) — located in § 2.2-3700 et seq. of the Code of Virginia — guarantees citizens of the Commonwealth and representatives of the media access to public records held by public bodies, public officials and public employees. The purpose of FOIA is to promote an increased awareness and transparency of government activities and afford residents an opportunity to witness the operations of government.
A public record is any writing or recording — regardless of whether it is a paper record, an electronic file, an audio or video recording or any other format — that is prepared, owned by or in the possession of a public body or its officers, employees or agents in the transaction of public business.