Virginia Freedom of Information Act for Local Elected Officials

July 15, 2020

NOTE | UPDATE

To all interested parties:

We are aware that some users have had buffering issues with the local elected officials FOIA training course we recently launched, while the training has worked for others without any problems.  A new version of the course has been published to the FOIA Training page that should resolve the buffering issues.  If you have had technical issues with the prior version, please clear your browser cache and history, refresh the page and then try again with the new course.  If you experience any further technical issues with the course, please email us at ric-foiatraining@dls.virginia.gov and include as much detail as you can regarding what problems you experienced as well as any technical information you can provide (browser(s), operating system, etc.).

Thank you, and please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or need additional information.

Alan Gernhardt, Esq., Executive Director
Ashley Binns, Esq., Attorney
Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council
900 East Main St., 10th Floor
Richmond, Virginia 23219
(804) 698-1810
1-866-448-4100 (toll free)
Website – http://foiacouncil.dls.virginia.gov/

Local elected officials – § 2.2-3704.3
As of July 1, 2020, all local elected officials are required to receive FOIA training “ within two months after assuming the local elected office and thereafter at least once during each consecutive period of two calendar years commencing with the date on which he last completed a training session.” To facilitate this training, we have developed a FOIA training course specifically for local elected officials that should take less than an hour to complete. Note that it covers a broader range of material than the FOIA officers course by including information on public records, public meetings, remedies and penalties, and additional resources for further questions.

Additionally, there is no quiz, but at the end of the course you will be able to generate your own certificate of completion to keep for your records. The law requires that the clerk of a governing body or school board keep such records for five years. For elected officials that have no clerk, we recommend you keep your FOIA training certificates with your other administrative records. Note that there is no requirement to send copies of your certificates to the FOIA Council, and unlike FOIA officers, we do not maintain a list of elected officials who have completed FOIA training.

Click here to take the FOIA training course for local elected officials.

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