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Petition Information
Petition Title Require Mental Health Facilities to post FOIA Information
Date Filed 4/7/2009   
Petitioner Steven Shoon 
Petitioner's Request

Adopt regulations to require mental health facilities operated by the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services to physically post up information about the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  This information layout is outlined in section 2.2-3704.1 of the Code of Virginia.  It includes the rights of the requester for requesting public records; the obligations of public bodies to process requests for public records; contact information for making requests for public records from the given public body; most commonly used public record exemptions; and recourse to the courts for violations of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.

 
Agency's Plan

The Board will consider the petition and any comments received at its regularly scheduled meeting on June 2, 2009. 

 
Comment Period Ended 5/18/2009
0 comments
Agency Decision Take no action    
Response Date 6/2/2009
Agency Decision Summary

The Board has determined that that this request may be appropriately addressed by policy rather than regulations.  The Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services has complied with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which requires all state public bodies to post information on their websites informing the public about procedures for requesting public records and responding to those requests.  The Board understands that some individuals receiving services in state facilities do not have access to the Internet through which they may obtain information about FOIA.  Therefore, the Commissioner or the the Department has issued a policy directive to state facility directors encouraging the posting of FOIA information on facility websites and throughout the facility and specifically on patient units.  The Board affirms the Commissioner's policy and believes that this policy directive addresses the intent of this petition.