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New FOIA Rules Await F.C. Council Adoption

Noting that state legislation has not caught up with the complications of email and social media forms of communication, Falls Church City Attorney John Foster advised the F.C. City Council at a work session last night that a proposed new amendments to the Council’s Rules of Procedures are aimed at “setting a high standard” of compliance with the state’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) laws requiring public access to discussions of policy among elected officials.

Council members were caught in violation of those laws in a series of emails exchanged last month, as reported in the News-Press. The amendments, while Council members identified inconsistencies in a draft version Monday, essentially call for no “reply all” email usage, confining exchanges to one-on-one contexts only.