The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA), located in the Code of Virginia § 2.2-3700 et seq., 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 — whether it is a paper record, an electronic file, an audio or video recording or a file in 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.

According to the policy of VFOIA, the purpose of VFOIA is to promote an increased awareness by all persons of governmental activities. Furthermore, it is required by VFOIA that the law be interpreted liberally (in favor of access) and that any exemption allowing public records to be withheld be interpreted narrowly.​​