VRSA provides FOIA training for public entities

While the sunshine may be scarce during the early winter months of the year, Virginia’s sunshine law –  formally the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), continues in full effect. FOIA requires public entities to disclose public records and provide access to government meetings. Unless of course, there’s an exemption.

The intricacies of FOIA can be confusing, even for seasoned public employees. The Code of Virginia requires that all elected officials and specified executive staff receive FOIA training “within two months after assuming the local elected office,” and thereafter additional training once every two years.

However, since any public entity employee could receive a FOIA request, it’s important for any staff who may field such a request to also receive training.

To assist members in receiving this required training, VRSA is hosting a General FOIA Training for Public Entities virtual engagement this February.

General FOIA Training for Public Entities

  • Date & Time: Wednesday, Feb. 21, 10 a.m.
  • Presenter: Alexander R. McDaniel, Esquire, Crenshaw, Ware & Martin, P.L.C.

The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is the state law governing access by citizens of Virginia, and representatives of the media, to public records and meetings of public bodies. FOIA provides that, with some specific exemptions and exceptions, all meetings of public bodies shall be open to the public, and all public records open for public inspection.

Since any public body employee could receive a FOIA request, this virtual engagement will provide a general overview of FOIA and how to handle such a request.

Register Here

The training, conducted by Alexander McDaniel, Esquire, with Crenshaw, Ware & Martin, P.L.C., will provide a general overview of FOIA, while addressing commonly asked questions relating to public meetings and public records. McDaniel will also review pending legislative changes to the Act going through the 2024 General Assembly.

“We want to ease the worries of our members,” said VRSA Managing Director Marcus Hensel. “Based on attendance at past sessions and questions we have received, we know that FOIA training matters to our members. We see this as a way to assist members beyond just those positions legally required to attend training.”

VRSA is here to protect our members and their employees so they may effectively serve their communities.