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Virginia Politics
Posted at 08:55 AM ET, 11/07/2011

McDonnell advertises reform commission work group meetings

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R)’s office has started advertising meetings of work groups that make recommendations to his government reform commission following complaints about previous meetings being held in private.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R). (Photo by Michael Williamson/The Washington Post)

The five work groups will meet Wednesday, according to the Commonwealth Calendar, a week prior to a full meeting of the Governor’s Commission on Government Reform and Restructuring.

“It’s a step in the right direction,’’ said Maria Everett, executive director of the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council Council.

The Post reported in September that the work groups that also make recommendations to the administration began meeting in private over the summer.

Each of the work groups includes McDonnell staffers and at least three commission members, though everyone attends each meeting. The five works are in the areas of administration, commerce and trade, natural resources, finance and health and human resources.

Several members of the public complained to the FOIA Council about the work groups after realizing the panels had met this summer without providing public notice.

Days later, McDonnell’s office said it would either ensure that fewer than three members are present or advertise the meetings as directed by Virginia’s open-meetings law — with notices posted in physical places, such as buildings on Capitol Square, and on the Commonwealth Calendar.

Del. David L. Englin (D-Alexandria) asked Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) to investigate if McDonnell’s administration violated the law by holding committee meetings of the government reform commission in secret, but Cuccinelli declined.

Tucker Martin, McDonnell’s spokesman, acknowledged the meeting notices, but said he would have no further comment.

By  |  08:55 AM ET, 11/07/2011

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