Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), located in §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.

The policy of FOIA states that the purpose of FOIA is to promote an increased awareness by all persons of governmental activities. In furthering this policy, FOIA requires that the law be interpreted liberally, in favor of access, and that any exemption allowing public records to be withheld must be interpreted narrowly.

Freedom of Information Advisory Council

The Freedom of Information Advisory Council is available to answer any questions you may have about FOIA. The Council may be contacted by email or by phone at 804-225-3056 or toll free 1-866-448-4100.

Suffolk Commissioner of the Revenue’s FOIA Office

The Suffolk Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office maintains the following records:

  • Personnel records concerning employees of the Suffolk Commissioner of the Revenue’s office.
  • Assessment records, including Business, Professional and Occupational License (BPOL), tangible personal property, bank franchise and local excise tax records.

You may request records by U.S. Mail, fax, email, in person or by telephone. To request records, you may direct your request to our FOIA Officer, Susan Draper. You may also contact her with questions you have concerning a request for records.

FOIA Rights and Responsibilities Link