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Freedom of Information Act

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.

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.

Your FOIA Rights

Making a Request for Records from the Virginia Retirement System

To request records from VRS, you may direct your request to Jillian L. Sherman, ACP, Legislative Liaison and Policy Analyst. She can be reached by email at FOIA@varetire.org, by telephone at 804-771-7373, or by mail at 1200 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219. You may also contact her with questions you have concerning requesting records from VRS. In addition, the Freedom of Information Advisory Council is available to answer any questions you may have about FOIA. The Council may be contacted by e-mail at foiacouncil@dls.virginia.gov, or by phone at 804-225-3056 or toll-free 1-866-448-4100.

Virginia Retirement System's Responsibilities in Responding to Your Request

Costs

Commonly Used Exemptions

The Code of Virginia allows any public body to withhold certain records from public disclosure. VRS commonly withholds records subject to the following exemptions:

Feedback on Assistance Provided in Response to a Request

Anyone making a FOIA request may provide feedback on the assistance provided by VRS in response to the request. The FOIA Council provides an online form on the FOIA Council website.

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