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2014 SESSION


CHAPTER 421
An Act to amend and reenact 2.2-3704.1 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act; state agencies to post notice of allowable charges for producing records.
[H 837]
Approved March 31, 2014

 

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That 2.2-3704.1 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

2.2-3704.1. Posting of notice of rights and responsibilities by state public bodies; assistance by the Freedom of Information Advisory Council.

A. All state public bodies created in the executive branch of state government and subject to the provisions of this chapter shall make available the following information to the public upon request and shall post such information on the Internet their respective public government websites:

1. A plain English explanation of the rights of a requester under this chapter, the procedures to obtain public records from the public body, and the responsibilities of the public body in complying with this chapter. For purposes of this subdivision section, "plain English" means written in nontechnical, readily understandable language using words of common everyday usage and avoiding legal terms and phrases or other terms and words of art whose usage or special meaning primarily is limited to a particular field or profession;

2. Contact information for the person designated by the public body to (i) assist a requester in making a request for records or (ii) respond to requests for public records;

3. A general description, summary, list, or index of the types of public records maintained by such state public body;

4. A general description, summary, list, or index of any exemptions in law that permit or require such public records to be withheld from release; and

5. Any policy the public body has concerning the type of public records it routinely withholds from release as permitted by this chapter or other law; and

6. The following statement: "A public body may make reasonable charges not to exceed its actual cost incurred in accessing, duplicating, supplying, or searching for the requested records. No public body shall impose any extraneous, intermediary, or surplus fees or expenses to recoup the general costs associated with creating or maintaining records or transacting the general business of the public body. Any duplicating fee charged by a public body shall not exceed the actual cost of duplication. All charges for the supplying of requested records shall be estimated in advance at the request of the citizen as set forth in subsection F of 2.2-3704 of the Code of Virginia."

B. The Freedom of Information Advisory Council, created pursuant to 30-178, shall assist in the development and implementation of the provisions of subsection A, upon request.