Virginia Coalition for Open Government published Sunshine Report for October 2013

From Virginia Coalition for Open Government: In this issue: FOIA Council steps up, Lt. Gov. proposes FOIA reform, RTD's Public Square, VCOG's annual conference line-up, Open government in the news, and more.

FOIA Council steps up

At its Sept. 12 meeting, the FOIA Council took two encouraging steps toward open government in Virginia.


Megan Rhyne: The press does heavy lifting on FOIA

From Richmond Times Dispatch: In 1996, when the Virginia Coalition for Open Government formed, its founders wanted to make at least one point abundantly clear: The public’s right to know is the public’s right to know. The Freedom of Information Act was not — and is not — a media law.

Statistics and anecdotal evidence at the local, state and federal level bear this out. The number of requests for records made by members of the news media pale in comparison with those made by citizens, lawyers, businesses, researchers and academics.


NFOIC’s State FOIA Friday for October 4, 2013

From NFOIC:  A few state FOIA and local open government news items selected from many of interest that we might or might not have drawn attention to earlier in the week. While you're at it, be sure to check out State FOIA Friday Archives.


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.


VCOG internship honors Roanoke legislator Clifton ‘Chip’ Woodrum

From The Roanoke Times: The Virginia Coalition for Open Government has created a legislative internship in honor of the late Clifton “Chip” Woodrum, a former legislator from Roanoke who was a staunch supporter of the public’s right to observe the workings of government.

The Chip Woodrum Legislative Internship will allow a college student to gain hands-on experience during the Virginia General Assembly.

The Virginia Coalition for Open Government is a member of NFOIC. –eds


Sunshine Report from the Virginia Coalition for Open Government

From Virginia Coalition for Open Government:  The May 2013 edition of the Sunshine Report is online with stories about the U.S. Supreme Court's FOIA ruling, a case on cameras in the courtroom, FOIA Council updates and open government news.

In the issue:

U.S. Supreme Court upholds Virginia's citizens-only FOIA limitation
FOIA Council updates
Huguely camera case headed to Virginia Supreme Court
Open government in the news