On, Dec. 30, West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant announced that public agencies have reported more than 5,000 records requests to the Secretary of State’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) database during its first year.
The database, which is maintained by the Secretary of State’s Office, has been available for use by the public since January 1, 2016.
“This user-friendly database is invaluable, and one of many ways I have continued to improve transparency in government,” Tennant said. “Government should be open and accountable to the people of West Virginia, and this database in an extension of everything our office has worked to provide over the last eight years.”
Public agencies are required to submit FOIA requests to the database. This includes state agencies, county and city governments, governing boards and commissions and school boards and departments. These agencies are required to report the following: date the FOIA request was received; name of the person or entity making the request; subject of the request; whether the request was granted or denied, as well as the reason for any denial; date the request was completed; and the amount of any charges to the person or entity making the request.
While the Secretary of State’s Office maintains the database, individual agencies are responsible for reporting their own FOIA request information. This must be done by the 10th day of the month following the completion of the request.
The database was developed and created by the Secretary of State’s information technology staff. You can search the FOIA database at https://apps.sos.wv.gov/FOIA/Requests/.