Is it legal for elected officials to text during public meetings? Virginia FOIA Council may soon weigh in

Elected officials secretly texting each other during public meetings may or may not become a problem requiring a statewide fix. But it’s happening enough that a Virginia transparency panel may soon issue guidance to city councils and county boards on the legality of politicians tapping out messages on their phones while conducting public business. On…


Editorial: A lost opportunity to fix Virginia’s FOIA

After nearly three years of study, dozens of regular and committee meetings, and thousands of hours in effort, the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council appears poised to recommend legislation largely unchanged from the dreadful law it was tasked to fix.

The council has posted on its website a reorganized draft of the state’s Freedom of Information Act, the commonwealth’s most important open government statute, and it looks frustratingly similar to existing law.


FOIA update: Virginia teachers seek change on test data law

Virginia teachers will seek new assurances in the coming legislative session that the class-by-class student test scores used in teacher evaluations aren't released to the public.

The Virginia Education Association also will push for a change in state law to ensure teachers are given notice when anyone requests information from their personnel files, the group's attorney told the state's Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council Wednesday.


Virginia FOIA Council denies Hanover’s request to review open meeting laws

From The Herald-Progress: Virginia’s FOIA Advisory Council declined Hanover County’s request to review the state’s definition of a public meeting Sept. 12.

Hanover County officials requested changing Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act to allow up to three Board members to meet in private to discuss county business without having to advertise it as a public meeting.

Visit The Herald-Progress for more.




VA FOI council kills Hanover County proposal to make public meetings private

From RICHMOND — Virginia taxpayers can rest assured that local elected officials won’t be able to legally conspire in small groups without public notice — at least, for now.

Members of Virginia’s Freedom of Information Advisory Council on Thursday decidedly killed a heavily criticized proposal from Hanover County’s Board of Supervisors that would have changed Virginia’s Freedom of Information Act so local officials could meet in small groups without giving advanced public notice as long as a quorum was not present.