State agency websites often fail to post key FOIA info

For Sunshine Week, the SPJ Virginia Pro Chapter and the Virginia Coalition for Open Government collaborated on a survey of state agency websites to see how well they complied with the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act.

Specifically, we looked at whether government sites clearly link to required policies outlining citizen rights and agency responsibilities under FOIA, and whether those policies include all the elements listed in state law (2.2-3704.1).

The survey found that fewer than 12% of sites were either 100% in compliance or were missing only one piece of the mandated elements.

Here is our report, as well as a shared Google Drive folder that includes:

The report received coverage from the Public News Service.

Thanks to the volunteers who helped conduct the website survey: Logan Bogert, Veronica Garabelli, John Hopkins, Jennifer Karchmer and Chris Tyree.

Published by SPJ Virginia Pro

SPJ is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry through the daily work of its nearly 10,000 members; works to inspire and educate current and future journalists through professional development; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press through its advocacy efforts.

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