District of Columbia FOIA Laws

District of Columbia Open Meetings Act

The District of Columbia Open Meetings Act legislates the method by which public meetings are conducted. D.C. Code § 2-571-580 defines a meeting as any gathering of a quorum of the members of a public body, including hearings and roundtables, whether formal or informal, regular, special, or emergency, at which the members consider, conduct, or advise on public business, including gathering information, taking testimony, discussing, deliberating, recommending, and voting, regardless whether held in person, by telephone, electronically, or by other means of communication. Meetings do not include chance or social gatherings (if they’re not held to avoid the provisions of the law) or press conferences.

Open Meetings Law D.C. Code § 2-571-580 et seq.

Closed: contract negotiation; negotiating incentives for businesses; obtain legal advice; collective bargaining negotiations; certain scholastic, licensing or qualifying examinations; certain personnel matters

District of Columbia Freedom of Information Act 

The District of Columbia Freedom of Information Act, D.C. Code § 2-531-540, provides for public access to records of the government of Washington, D.C. Anyone may request public records and a statement of purpose is not required. The statute requires a response in 15 working days. There is no formal system for separate handling of larger or smaller requests or to request expedited processing if a request is delayed.

Freedom of Information Act D.C. Code § 2-531, et seq.

Exempt: Trade secrets and commercial or financial information; privacy; investigatory and law enforcement records; interagency memos and letters; test questions and answers; information exempted by Federal Law because of National Defense or Foreign Policy concerns; information gained in civil antitrust actions; information Disclosed in arson investigations; specific response plans and vulnerability assessments; information submitted to Business License Center; information that would disclose the identity of a whistleblower; vital records

Visit, District of Columbia Sample FOIA Request, to view a Sample FOIA request.