Freedom of Information Act

Your Rights Under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 

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.

You have the right to request to inspect or receive copies of public records, or both.
You have the right to request that any charges for the requested records be estimated in advance.
If you believe that your FOIA rights have been violated, you may file a petition in district or circuit court to compel compliance with FOIA.

How to Request Records from the Madison County Commissioner of the Revenue

You may request records by mail, fax, e-mail, in person, or over the phone. FOIA does not require that your request be in writing, nor do you need to specifically state that you are requesting records under FOIA. The following guidelines will better enable the office in complying with your request.

Your request must include your name and legal address.
Your request must identify the records you are seeking with reasonable specificity. This does not refer to or limit the volume or number of records that you are requesting; instead, it requires that you be specific enough so that we can identify and locate the records that you are seeking.
Your request must ask for existing records or documents. FOIA gives you a right to inspect or copy records; it does not apply to a situation where you are asking general questions about the work of the Commissioner of the Revenue, nor does it require the Commissioner of the Revenue to create a record that does not exist.
You may choose to receive electronic records in any format used by the Commissioner of Revenue in the regular course of business.

All FOIA records requests should be directed to the Madison County Commissioner of the Revenue FOIA Officer: Brian L Daniel, Commissioner of the Revenue. His contact information is as follows:

in person at the Madison County Commissioner of the Revenue Office
414 N Main Street
Madison, VA 22727 

Phone: 540-948-4421
Fax: 540-948-6732

Email Brian L Daniel

Additionally, the Freedom of Information Advisory Council is available to answer any questions you may have about FOIA. The Council may be contacted by phone at 804-225-3056 or toll-free at 1-866-448-4100 or by Email The Council.

The Commissioner of the Revenue’s Responsibilities in Responding to Your Request

The County shall respond to your request within 5 workdays of receipt. The five days begin the next work day after the request is received and does not include weekends or holidays. 

If the County is unable to respond to a public records request within 5 work days, the Augusta County Commissioner of the Revenue FOIA Officer shall send a written response to the requester stating that it is not practically possible to respond within five days and specifying the conditions that make a response impossible. The County shall then have an additional 7 work days to respond to the request. 

If more than 7 days are necessary to respond to a request for an extraordinary volume of records or which will require an extraordinarily lengthy search, the County shall make reasonable efforts to reach an agreement with the requester for more time. If an agreement cannot be reached, the Commissioner of Revenue may petition the court for additional time to respond.

Records Exempt from FOIA 

The Code of Virginia allows any public body to withhold certain records from public disclosure. The Commissioner of the Revenue does retain records that contain confidential information and will withhold records subject to the exemptions in Virginia State Code §2.2-3705.1 and §58.1-3.