BILL NO A10335
SAME AS SAME AS S07764
COSPNSR Cahill, Koon, Millman, Spano, Galef, Maisel, Gabryszak, Fields
MLTSPNSR Amedore, Crouch, Lupardo, Molinaro, Murray, Reilly, Skartados,
Amd SS86 & 87, add S87-a, Pub Off L; amd S103, St Tech L
Requires public disclosure of certain state agency materials, and authorizes
the office for technology to publish a technical standards manual for the
publishing of records on the Internet by state agencies.
NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A10335
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public officers law, in relation
to requiring public disclosure of certain state agency materials; and to
amend the state technology law, in relation to authorizing the office
for technology to publish a technical standards manual for the publish-
ing of records on the internet by state agencies
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill requires state agencies to
make all public records, with certain exceptions, available on a single
interact web portal, without any fees or license or registration
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1: Provides that this act
shall be known as the "Open New York Act."
Section 2: Amends section 86 of the public officers law to add defi-
nitions for the following terms: "consensus," "technical standard,"
"voluntary consensus standards," "voluntary consensus standards bodies."
Section 3: Requires that all records available pursuant to the
provisions of section 87 of the public officers law shall be available
in electronic form in accordance with the provisions of section 87-a of
Section 4: Amends the public officers law by adding a new section 87-a:
-Requires the committee on open government to promulgate rules estab-
lishing an internet record policy for the state of New York no later
than January 3rd, 2011;
-Requires the committee on open government to consult with the office of
technology regarding preparation, publishing, and periodic updating of a
technical standards manual for publishing records on the internet;
-Requires each state agency to review the records under its control and
classify them as immediate, priority, legacy or exempt;
-Requires each state agency to submit an agency compliance plan to the
governor and legislature no later than January 3, 2011;
-Requires each state agency to make its records available for inspection
by the public through the internet on a single web portal pursuant to
the timetable established in the agency's compliance plan;
-Provides that all records shall be available on a permanent basis, in
machine-readable and unprocessed electronic format, and in their
complete form, except for those records classified as exempt;
-Provides that all records shall be available to the public without any
registration requirement, license requirement, fees, or restrictions on
their use unless otherwise provided by law;
-Provides that state agency records shall be classified as "immediate,"
"legacy," "priority," or "exempt";
-Establishes a timetable by which records will be made available on the
internet, according to category;
-Provides that no fees may be charged for physical copies of records not
made available on the internet as required by the timetable.
Section 5: Amends Section 103 of the state technology law to authorize
the office for technology to publish a technical standards manual for
the publishing of records on the internet by state agencies. Authorizes
the office for technology to adopt such rules and regulations as neces-
sary. Provides that the office will create and oversee the central web
Section 6: Act to take effect immediately.
JUSTIFICATION: New York's Freedom of Information Law establishes
"that government is the public's business and that the public...should
have access to the records of government." The right of access to public
records derives from the most basic tenets of American democracy; it is
an essential element of government of, by, and for the people. In the
internet age, this right can and must include the right to access infor-
To be meaningful, public access to records must be unencumbered by any
unnecessary obstacles. In the information age, government and citizens
can benefit from, and indeed have come to expect, the free flow of
information via the interact. The capacity of the internet to make a
vast array of data accessible to the public in real time has fundamen-
tally altered our underlying assumptions as to what it means for infor-
mation to be available. In the new context, the failure to make informa-
tion available on the internet constitutes a significant and unnecessary
obstacle to public access.
The Obama administration has led the way in opening government data to
the public, using sites such as www.data.gov and www.recovery.gov to
improve transparency and allow taxpayers to see how their money is being
used. At the same time, open government data advocates have established
a set of simple principles to describe government data that is truly
open. According to these principles, open data is data that is:
1. Complete: All public data is made available. Public data is data that
is not subject to valid privacy, security or privilege limitations.
2. Primary: Data is as collected at the source, with the highest possi-
ble level of granularity, not in aggregate or modified forms.
3. Timely: Data is made available as quickly as necessary to preserve
the value of the data.
4. Accessible: Data is available to the widest range of users for the
widest range of purposes.
5. Machine processable: Data is reasonably structured to allow automated
6. Non-discriminatory: Data is available to anyone, with no requirement
7. Non-proprietary: Data is available in a format over which no entity
has exclusive control.
8. License-free: Data is not subject to any copyright, patent, trademark
or trade secret regulation. Reasonable privacy, security and privilege
restrictions may be allowed.
OpenGovData.org; "8 Principles of Open
Government Data;" http://resource.orW8_principles.html; accessed
Open government data also promises to unleash entrepreneurialism and
civic creativity, by allowing anyone to turn machine-processable, free-
ly-available data into an application that can be used-on a laptop,
desktop, or mobile device-to make government data work for citizens in
every day life. Already, developers using various government data sets
have created applications allowing users to compare cancer or unemploy-
ment rates in different locations (www.thisweknow.org), to map out the
safest routes home at night (www.outsideinde.corn/stumblesafely), to
subscribe to news feeds telling them about new building permits or
liquor license applications in their neighborhoods
(www.everyblock.conm), to navigate their local school systems
(www.bigappleed.com), or to get traffic updates, recreation options,
restaurant inspection results, post office locations, fire and medical
response times, and more all in one package (www.nycway.com). Opening up
New York State's data to the public will enable entrepreneurs to create
applications using information about health, crime and safety, transpor-
tation, housing, consumer matters, environmental quality, and much more-
benefiting New Yorkers across the state.
Advocates and developers such as those working with the W3C eGovernment
Interest Group have done significant groundwork in developing open
government data directives and best practices, creating an opportunity
for fruitful collaboration between government and the technology sector
- and, ultimately between government and citizens. This legislation
begins that partnership by providing, for the first time, that all New
York State data subject to the FOIL be made available on the internet
according to the eight principles of open government data.
Open data promises a new relationship between citizens and government -
but one that is grounded in the root principles of American democracy.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: None.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Undetermined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Act to take effect immediately.