A subcommittee of Virginia’s FOIA Council is studying fees charged for public records.
“In a perfect world, there would be no charges for FOIA requests in Virginia,” writes Megan Rhyne, executive director of the Virginia Coalition for Open Government. “There’s a philosophical issue that underpins some states’ open records law that says, ‘taxpayers have already paid for the creation and maintenance of these records, so they should not have to pay again to get copies of them.'”
But in real-world Virginia, where the government is allowed to recoup costs of materials and labor, the Virginia coalition seeks a fees structure that is low-cost, consistent and transparent, as Rhyne explains in VCOG’s newsletter.