The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), located in Section 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.
A public record is any writing or recording – regardless of whether it is a paper record, an electronic file, an audio or video recording, or any other format – that is prepared or owned by, or in the possession of a public body or its officers, employees, or agents in the transaction of public business. All public records are presumed to be open, and may only be withheld if a specific, statutory exemption applies.
Making a FOIA Request
Jaunt FOIA requests may be made directly via the online submission form to the right. Using the form provided is preferred and appreciated as it helps ensure that you receive an accurate and timely response. The form goes directly to Jaunt’s FOIA Officer, Jody Saunders. If you prefer, you may also reach Jody directly at 434-296-3184 ext. 132 or email@example.com.
FOIA requests must be for existing records or documents. If you request information rather than records, we will respond with documents that contain that information, but will not create documents that do not already exist.
When requesting records from Jaunt, you have the right to:
- Request to inspect and/or receive copies of public records.
- Request that any charges for the requested records be estimated in advance.
- Receive a response within five working days.
- Be told why certain records are being withheld.
- If you believe that your FOIA rights have been violated, you may file a petition in district or circuit court to compel compliance with FOIA. Alternatively, you may contact the Freedom of Information Act Advisory Council for a nonbinding advisory opinion.
Jaunt’s Responsibilities in Responding to a Request
Jaunt responds to requests within five working days of receiving a request. “Day One” is considered the day after the request is received. The five-day period does not include weekends or holidays. If it is not possible for Jaunt to process your request within five days, we may notify you that it requires up to seven additional working days to do so.
FOIA allows Jaunt to make reasonable charges not to exceed its actual cost incurred in accessing, duplicating, supplying, or searching for the requested records. Any duplicating fee charged by Jaunt may 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. If, after 30 days of sending the cost estimate, Jaunt still has not received a response from the requester, the request shall be considered withdrawn.
- Requests taking longer than 30 minutes to complete may be subject to a charge.
- Requests estimated to cost over $200 may require a deposit before being fulfilled.
- If you owe money from a previous FOIA request that has remained unpaid for more than 30 days, Jaunt may require payment of the past-due bill before it will respond to the new FOIA request.