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Attorney General Kathy Jennings

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  Archived Posts From: 2000


00-IB08: Re: Freedom of Information Act Complaint Against University of Delaware

Written on: May 24th, 2000 in 10002(h) Public Body

The Complainant alleged that the University of Delaware had violated the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) by failing to answer a series of questions he had posed to the University in writing, and by meeting in executive session to approve a land transfer without public notice. Held: FOIA does not require public bodies to answer written questions. Further, FOIA does not include records in the custody of the University in its definition of “public records” unless such records “relat[e] to the expenditure of public funds.” FOIA further exempts the University from its open meeting requirements other than for meetings of the “full Board of Trustees.” Accordingly, the executive session held by a committee of the Board of Trustees was not subject to FOIA’s open meeting requirements, and the University’s agreement to provide any documents related to the expenditure of state funds negated any claim of violation with respect to access to public records.

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