New open-data portal increases transparency in Virginia Beach

You don’t have to be a journalist or a Freedom of Information Act expert to access public records in Virginia Beach, thanks to a new open-data portal that launched Monday.

The portal provides Virginia Beach residents easy access to many public records normally available through a FOIA request. The idea is to cut the middle man, putting information at residents’ fingertips and encouraging city employees to look at ways to improve services, said Virginia Beach Director of Management Services Catheryn Whitesell.