The Financial and Administrative Services team provides administrative and infrastructure support to enhance the educational environment. We are continually striving to improve the services we offer to the college community. Please feel free to contact a member of our team with any questions, concerns, or comments.
Agency Risk Management and Internal Control System (ARMICS)
Agency Risk Management and Internal Control Standards (ARMICS) is a directive issued by the Comptroller of Virginia requiring state agencies and institutions to annually document organizational risk assessments and internal control activities. The purpose is to ensure agency regulatory compliance and accuracy in transaction processing. Each agency must name an ARMICS Internal Control Coordinator to oversee completion of this requirement. More detailed information regarding ARMICS may be found at the Virginia Department of Accounts home page. Select the link for ARMICS.
Continuity of Operations (COOP)
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management defines COOP as “The effort to assure that the capability exists to continue essential agency functions across a wide range of potential emergencies. Essentially, the process of maintaining the business of government.”
The college has developed a COOP plan that will provide for the continuity of the college’s critical operations for up to 30 days. The primary mission of the college is education, and continuity of instructional programs is the essence of the college’s mission. In addition, the college must provide for payroll and human resource functions, the safety and security of the college infrastructure, facilities, communications, and the protection of vital records. The college is committed to the safety and protection of its faculty, staff, students, operations and facilities. COOP planning provides the institution with a framework that is designed to minimize potential impact during an event.
The COOP plan establishes policy and guidance to ensure the execution of the essential functions for the college in the event that an emergency at the agency or in its service area threatens or incapacitates operations and/or requires the relocation of selected personnel and functions. The COOP plan is complementary to the Guide for Emergency Action Response and the Information Technology Contingency Plan and Business Recovery Plan.
The purpose of a COOP plan is to provide the framework for the college to restore essential functions in the event of an emergency that affects operations.
A “public record” or “record” means recorded information that documents a transaction or activity by or with any public officer, agency or employee of an agency. Regardless of physical form or characteristic, a record is considered “public” if it is produced, collected, received or retained in pursuance of law or in connection with the transaction of public business. Per the Virginia Public Records Act, records must be maintained and destroyed in accordance with an approved schedule by the Library of Virginia.
Benefits of Records Management
- Control the growth of records
- Improve efficiency and productivity
- Ensure regulatory compliance
- Minimize litigation risks
- Safeguard vital information
- Ensure business continuity and consistency
- Support decision making
- Preserve the corporate memory
Types of Schedules
- General Schedules
- Covers common records created and maintained by localities and state agencies
- Includes different types of records: administration, fiscal, personnel and general services
- Approved by the Library of Virginia
- Agency-Specific Schedules
- List records unique to an agency and reflect its responsibilities
- Normally organized by internal functions or units of the agency
- Approved by the agency and the Library of Virginia
Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
The Rights of Requesters and the Responsibilities under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act
Before making a formal FOIA request, please check our website to ensure the information that you are in search of is not already available elsewhere.
Rights and Responsibilities
The Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), located § 2.2-3700 et seq. of the Code of Virginia, 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 — regardless of whether it is a paper record, an electronic file, an audio or video recording, or 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.
The policy of FOIA states that the purpose of FOIA is to promote an increased awareness by all persons of governmental activities. In furthering this policy, FOIA requires that the law be interpreted liberally, in favor of access, and that any exemption allowing public records to be withheld must be interpreted narrowly.
Your FOIA Rights
- You have the right to request to inspect or receive copies of public records, or both.
- You have the right to request that any charges for the requested records be estimated in advance.
- If you believe that your FOIA rights have been violated, you may file a petition in district or circuit court to compel compliance with FOIA.
Making a Request for Records
- You may request records by U.S. Mail, fax, email, in person, or over the phone. FOIA does not require that your request be in writing, nor do you need to specifically state that you are requesting records under FOIA.
- From a practical perspective, it is helpful to both you and the person receiving your request to put your request in writing. This allows you to create a record of your request. It also gives us a clear statement of what records you are requesting, so that there is no misunderstanding over a verbal request. However, we cannot refuse to respond to your FOIA request if you elect to not put it in writing.
- Your request must identify the records you are seeking with “reasonable specificity.” This is a commonsense standard. It does not refer to or limit the volume or number of records that you are requesting; instead, it requires that you be specific enough so that we can identify and locate the records that you are seeking.
- Your request must ask for existing records or documents. FOIA gives you a right to inspect or copy records; it does not apply to a situation where you are asking general questions about the work of Laurel Ridge, nor does it require Laurel Ridge to create a record that does not exist.
- You may choose to receive electronic records in any format used by Laurel Ridge in the regular course of business.
- For example, if you are requesting records maintained in an Excel database, you may elect to receive those records electronically, via e-mail or on a computer disk, or to receive a printed copy of those records.
- If we have questions about your request, please cooperate with staff’s efforts to clarify the type of records that you are seeking, or to attempt to reach a reasonable agreement about a response to a large request. Making a FOIA request is not an adversarial process, but we may need to discuss your request with you to ensure that we understand what records you are seeking.
Questions concerning requesting records can be directed to [email protected].
In addition, the Freedom of Information Advisory Council is available to answer any questions you may have about FOIA. The Council may be contacted by phone at 804-225-3056 or [toll free] 1-866-448-4100.
The College’s Responsibility in Responding to Your Request
- The college must respond to your request within five working days of receiving it. “Day One” is considered the day after your request is received. The five-day period does not include weekends or holidays.
- The reason behind your request for public records from the college is irrelevant, and we cannot ask you why you want the records before we respond to your request. FOIA does, however, allow the college to ask you to provide your name and legal address.
- FOIA requires that the college make one of the following responses to your request within the five-day time period:
- We provide you with the records that you have requested in their entirety.
- We withhold all of the records that you have requested, because all of the records are subject to a specific statutory exemption. If all of the records are being withheld, we must send you a response in writing. That writing must identify the volume and subject matter of the records being withheld, and state the specific section of the Code of Virginia that allows us to withhold the records.
- We provide some of the records that you have requested, but withhold other records. We cannot withhold an entire record if only a portion of it is subject to an exemption. In that instance, we may redact the portion of the record that may be withheld, and must provide you with the remainder of the record. We must provide you with a written response stating the specific section of the Code of Virginia that allows portions of the requested records to be withheld.
- If it is practically impossible for the college to respond to your request within the five-day period, we must state this in writing, explaining the conditions that make the response impossible. This will allow us seven additional working days to respond to your request, giving us a total of 12 working days to respond to your request.
- If you make a request for a very large number of records, and we feel that we cannot provide the records to you within 12 days without disrupting our other organizational responsibilities, we may petition the court for additional time to respond to your request. However, FOIA requires that we make a reasonable effort to reach an agreement with you concerning the production of the records before we go to court to ask for more time.
You may have to pay for the records that you request from the college. FOIA allows us to charge for the actual costs of responding to FOIA requests. This would include items such as staff time spent searching for the requested records, copying costs or any other costs directly related to supplying the requested records. It cannot include general overhead costs.
- If we estimate that it will cost more than $200 to respond to your request, we may require you to pay a deposit, not to exceed the amount of the estimate, before proceeding with your request. The five days that we have to respond to your request does not include the time between when we ask for a deposit and when you respond.
- You may request that we estimate in advance the charges for supplying the records that you have requested. This will allow you to know about any costs upfront, or give you the opportunity to modify your request in an attempt to lower the estimated costs.
- If you owe us money from a previous FOIA request that has remained unpaid for more than 30 days, the college may require payment of the past-due bill before it responds to your new FOIA request.
Commonly Used Exemptions
The Code of Virginia allows any public body to withhold certain records from public disclosure. The college commonly withholds records subject to the following exemptions:
- Scholastic records (under the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g, and §2.2-3704.4 (1) of the Code of Virginia)
- Letters and statements of recommendation (§2.2-3705.4. (2) of the Code of Virginia)
- Proprietary information produced by faculty and staff in the conduct of scholarly research (§2.2-3705.4 (3) of the Code of Virginia)
- Personnel records (§ 2.2-3705.1 (1) of the Code of Virginia)
- Records subject to attorney-client privilege (§ 2.2-3705.1 (2) of the Code of Virginia) or attorney work product (§ 2.2-3705.1 (3) of the Code of Virginia)
- Vendor proprietary information software (§ 2.2-3705.1 (6) of the Code of Virginia)
- Records relating to the negotiation and award of a contract, prior to a contract being awarded (§ 2.2-3705.1 (12) of the Code of Virginia)
- Freedom of Information Act – Code of Virginia
- Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council
- Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council – Public Comment Form
A public body may make reasonable charges not to exceed its actual cost incurred in accessing, duplicating, supplying, or searching for the requested records. No public body shall impose any extraneous, intermediary, or surplus fees or expenses to recoup the general costs associated with creating or maintaining records or transacting the general business of the public body. Any duplicating fee charged by a public body shall not exceed the actual cost of duplication. All charges for the supplying of requested records shall be estimated in advance at the request of the citizen as set forth in subsection F of § 2.2-3704 of the Code of Virginia.
The college is dedicated to the preservation of our environment and its resources. In response to Executive Order 82 and the Chancellor’s Task Force on Environmental Sustainability, the college’s goal will be to continually research and implement ideas to reach an optimal level of sustainability.
Conservation and Cost Savings Measures
The recent budget challenges have led many state agencies, including Laurel Ridge Community College, to make changes to normal operating practices and spending. While the college administration is working diligently to tackle these financial challenges, there are many ways that you – the college community – can help to conserve college resources.
- Turn off lights when leaving an office or classroom.
- Turn off computers, monitors and other electronic devices at the end of the day.
- Eliminate personal appliances (microwaves, refrigerators, space heaters).
Note: Due to varying building temperatures, it may be necessary to dress warmer than usual. Severe extremes in temperatures are a maintenance issue and should be reported to the facilities and administrative coordinator.
- Refrain from using handicapped door openers unless required by need.
Reducing Printing Consumables
- Use projector capabilities to display classroom/meeting information in lieu of printed materials. If an attendee wishes to have a copy of the materials, send an electronic version via email.
- Print on both sides of the paper.
- Make scrap paper by cutting excess paper into self-made notepads.
- Use systems such as Canvas and the intranet to house documents for easy retrieval by many users.
- Use the scan to email feature. Several of the college’s copiers can create a PDF or TIFF file that can be sent through email, so no paper is needed.
- Recycle binding rings – Send discarded books to the Printing Services Office and the Printing Services staff will remove the binding rings and recycle them. Removing the rings on your own may cause damage to the rings. Please allow one of the Printing Services staff members to assist you.
Reducing Fuel Consumption
- Plan trips carefully. Combine short trips into one if possible.
- Carpool with other individuals traveling to the same location.
- Use video teleconferencing whenever possible to avoid unnecessary trips between college locations.
- Telecommute if suitable for job duties and with supervisor approval.
Other ways the college may seek to reduce costs:
- Use flextime to provide office coverage instead of overtime.
- Adjust light bulbs and temperature settings.
- Reduce travel.
- Reduce printed publications.
Forest Management and Natural Resource Conservation
Forest Management and Natural Resource Conservation
In 1991, 13,500 loblolly pine trees were planted within 25 acres of land situated on the north end of the Laurel Ridge Middletown Campus. From 1991 through 2008, the Virginia Department of Forestry, has been reviewing the growth and care of these trees and making recommendations toward preserving the forested area. The growth rate of the trees averages 1 inch in diameter every three years and there have been no problems with insects or diseases.
Within the forested area, there is a spring and interconnecting stream which feeds the college’s pond. This riparian/wetland area is used by the biology department as a study area. In addition, the biology department maintains a series of wildlife housing (bird and bat boxes) and a rain garden. It is the department’s hope to create more rain gardens in this area to help mitigate surface runoff with any new additions of buildings or parking areas.
Recycling and Conservation
We are continually researching ways that we can do our part to improve the environment. Through recycling and conservation, the college community can significantly reduce its environmental footprint.
- Recycling a four-foot stack of newspapers saves the equivalent of one 40-foot fir tree?
- Every glass bottle recycled saves enough energy to light a 100-watt light bulb for four hours?
- Making cans from recycled aluminum saves 95 percent of the energy required to produce cans from virgin material?
- Americans throw away enough aluminum to rebuild the entire commercial airline fleet every three months?
While these facts are alarming, we all can do our part to make a difference. That is why the college takes the necessary steps to ensure that as a college community we are doing our part to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
The College offers the means and methods for the community to recycle the following items:
- Stretch Film (plastic bags)
In addition, the college recycles the following items used in its daily operations:
- Fluorescent light bulbs
- Ink cartridges
The college has improved various business practices in regards to facility use in order to reduce and conserve. In 2007, the college contracted the services of an energy efficiency company, T.A.C., which has provided upgrades to the following:
- Reduction in the use of electricity and natural gas at the Fauquier Campus through the upgrade of the HVAC system.
- Reduction in water usage at the Middletown Campus by installing new toilets and flush valves that are designed to operate with less water.
- Reduction in electricity usage by vending machines through the installation of Watt Misers.
- Reduction in energy usage during non-peak hours by installing new digital controls for the HVAC units in the Alson H. Smith Jr. Technology Center.
- The college has recently virtualized its email servers. The virtualization of these 14 servers will save an estimated 98,000 KWh of electricity per year and 56 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
It is our hope to ingrain the importance of environmental conservation into the college’s culture and to continue to find new ways to contribute.
“No institutions in modern society are better equipped to catalyze the necessary transition to a sustainable world than colleges and universities. They have access to the leaders of tomorrow and the leaders of today. What they do matters to the wider public.”
David W. Orr, The Last Refuge, 2004
T.A.C. is a large company contracted by the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) to provide energy-saving ideas and services to the community colleges. The college has invested more than $250,000 in new heating and air conditioning units and controls to provide a climate that is acceptable to its students, faculty and guests during operating hours. During periods of inactivity, the system will run only to maintain minimum temperatures throughout the buildings to reduce the amount of energy being used. Energy savings thus far have averaged more than $10,000 per month since the installation. T.A.C. environmental controls have been added to the Fauquier Campus and the Alson H. Smith Jr. Technology Center. The college is committed to saving energy and reducing its energy bills. Everyone, including students, staff, faculty and administration, must look for additional opportunities to conserve energy.
|Project Status||Active Project|
|Guaranteed Annual Savings||$23,798|
|Total Energy Savings to Date||$90,969 thru January 201|
|Total Guaranteed Savings to Date||$55,529 thru January 2010|