Freedom of Information Requests

About the Freedom of Information Act

The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) guarantees citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia 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 passion 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. To request records from York County, you may direct your request to Gail Whittaker, FOIA Officer

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York County's Policy

It is the policy of York County to facilitate public access to the official records of the County and to make such records available and to respond to requests for access in a timely fashion.

Under normal circumstances, department directors are authorized to grant requests received by their respective departments for official document inspection and/or copying by citizens. Official records shall be open to inspection and/or copying during regular office hours of the County office/department having custody of them, unless they are records that are excluded from Freedom of Information Act coverage.

Since complicating and legal factors may have to be considered in some cases, certain requests shall be forwarded immediately to the Public Information Officer. The Public Information Officer shall be responsible for coordinating with the County Administrator and requesting the County Attorney's legal advice and counsel whenever necessary.

Effective July 1, 2022 - Per Code of VA 2.2-3704 (F), public bodies are required to inform requesters that the public body may make reasonable charges not to exceed the actual cost incurred in accessing, duplicating, supplying or searching for requested records, and shall ask the requester whether they wish to receive a cost estimate in advance of supplying the requested records.  A cost estimate shall be provided if requested.  If, after receiving the cost estimate, the requester would like the County to proceed with the records request, the staff time required to determine the cost estimate will be applied to the final amount due.  If the requester does not respond to the County’s question within 30 days, the request will be deemed withdrawn.