Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

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.

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 or owned by, or in the possession of a public body or its officers, employees or agents in the transaction of public business. All public records are presumed to be open, and may only be withheld if a specific, statutory exemption applies.

The policy of FOIA states that the purpose of FOIA is to promote an increased awareness by all persons of governmental activities. In furthering this policy, FOIA requires that the law be interpreted liberally, in favor of access, and that any exemption allowing public records to be withheld must be interpreted narrowly.

Your FOIA Rights

• You have the right to request to inspect or receive copies of public records, or both.

• You have the right to request that any charges for the requested records be estimated in advance.

• If you believe that your FOIA rights have been violated, you may file a petition in district or circuit court to compel compliance  with FOIA. Alternatively, you may contact the FOIA Council for a nonbinding advisory opinion.

To Request Records

You may direct your request to one of our FOIA Officers. They can be reached at:

Franklin D. Edmondson, MCR                                        Wanda N. Smith, MDCR
Commissioner of the Revenue                                      Chief Deputy Commissioner 
801 Crawford Street                                                         801 Crawford Street
Portsmouth, VA 23704                                                     Portsmouth, VA 23704
Office: (757) 393-8480                                                      Office: (757) 393-8799
Fax:    (757) 393-8604                                                        Fax:    (757) 393-8604
Email: [email protected]                     Email: [email protected]