Bill moves to study FOIA exemptions

Want to know what your government is really up to?

The Virginia Freedom of Information Act allows citizens of the commonwealth (and representatives of the media) to gain access to numerous records held by state and local agencies, government officials and other public authorities, along with providing the right to attend public meetings.

The presumption of the FOIA is that all records and all meetings are to be open to the public — unless there is a special exemption specifying secrecy.

Sounds good, right?

Maybe — until you begin counting up those exemptions.
All in all, Virginia has peppered the Freedom of Information Act with 172 different exemptions under which transparency is prevented.

Many of these exemptions are understandable: closed meetings for personnel issues such as hiring or firing, protected documents that show security plans. Continue>>>