Freedom of Information Act

Rights of Requesters and Responsibilities of the City

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

Requesting Records

To request records from the City of Roanoke, Virginia, you may direct your request to Melinda Mayo, the FOIA Officer for the City of Roanoke, Virginia. She can be reached at telephone: 540.853.6357,, or fax at 540.853.1138. You may also contact her with questions you have concerning requesting records from the City of Roanoke, Virginia. 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, or by phone at (804) 225-3056 or [toll free] 1-866-448-4100.

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