10.1 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Under Virginia law, the presumption is that all documents in the possession of any public body or public official and all meetings of state and local public bodies are open to citizens of the Commonwealth. The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (§ 2.2-3700 et seq. of the Code of Virginia) guarantees citizens of the Commonwealth and representatives of the media access to public records held by public bodies, public officials and public employees. The purpose of FOIA is to promote an increased awareness of all persons of governmental activities. FOIA requires that the law be interpreted liberally, in favor of access, and that any exemption allowing public records to be withheld be interpreted narrowly. VITA requires all IT procurement professionals to comply with the Commonwealth's Freedom of Information Advisory Council's requirements and their own agency's policies and procedures. VITA SCM procurement professionals must follow the current SCM process and procedures. In addition, before any agency can procure a system, equipment or software, the agency must consider whether it is capable of producing products that facilitate the rights of the public to access public records under FOIA.