The purpose of the policy is to ensure compliance with FOIA and outline procedures for responding to FOIA requests.
In general, FOIA requires that, unless an exception applies, all records in the possession of a public employee or officer that relate to public business must be made available to Virginia citizens and members of the media upon request.
- The university shall designate a FOIA officer. The FOIA officer shall serve as a point of contact for members of the public requesting public records and to coordinate the university’s response to FOIA requests.
- Employees should immediately notify the university FOIA officer of any request by the press or any person to inspect records. Any request made for records is a FOIA request, whether made orally, by letter, or by email. A request for public records shall identify the requested records with reasonable specificity.
- The university shall not release the address, phone number, or email address of a student in response to a FOIA request without the student’s written consent.
- The university is not required to create a new record if the record does not already exist. However, the university may, at its discretion, abstract or summarize information.
- Longwood University Responsibilities in Responding to a Request
- The FOIA Officer must respond to a request within 5 working days after receiving it. “Day One” is considered the day after your request is received. The 5-day period does not include weekends or holidays. The university makes one of the following responses to a request within the 5-day time period:
- We provide you with the records that you have requested in their entirety.
- We withhold all of the records that you have requested, because all of the records are subject to a specific statutory exemption. If all of the records are being withheld, we must send you a response in writing. That writing must state the specific section of the Code of Virginia that allows the university to withhold the records. The FOIA Officer must respond to a request within 5 working days after receiving it. “Day One” is considered the day after your request is received. The 5-day period does not include weekends or holidays. The university make one of the following responses to a request within the 5-day time period:
- We provide some of the records that you have requested, but withhold other records.
- If it is practically impossible for the university to identify and gather the records that respond to your request within the 5-day period, the university must respond by stating that in writing and explaining the conditions that make the response impossible. This response allows the university 7 additional working days to respond.
- Requestors may have to pay for the records sought from the university. FOIA permits the university to charge for the actual costs of responding to FOIA requests. Such costs include staff time spent searching for the requested records, copying costs, or any other costs directly related to supplying the requested records.
- If the university estimates that it will cost more than $200 to respond to your FOIA request, the university may require a deposit not to exceed the amount of the estimate.
- If a requestor owes the university money from the response to a previous FOIA request, the university may require payment of the past-due bill before it will respond to a new FOIA request
Revised and approved by the Board of Visitors, September 7, 2002.
The policy was approved by the Board of Visitors, June 8, 2018.