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A09621 Summary:

BILL NOA09621A
 
SAME ASSAME AS S08671-A
 
SPONSORMcDonald
 
COSPNSRSimon, Fahy, Kelles, McMahon
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Ren §90 to be §90-a, add §90, Pub Off L
 
Requires all agencies to submit to the committee on open government a log of all freedom of information law requests for each year in which they received or have pending a request for records; requires the committee on open government to publish, on one webpage, all freedom of information law request logs it receives.
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A09621 Actions:

BILL NOA09621A
 
03/26/2024referred to governmental operations
04/09/2024reported
04/12/2024advanced to third reading cal.416
05/20/2024amended on third reading 9621a
06/04/2024passed assembly
06/04/2024delivered to senate
06/04/2024REFERRED TO RULES
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A09621 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A9621A
 
SPONSOR: McDonald
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public officers law, in relation to requiring agen- cies to report information about FOIL inquiries to the committee on open government   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To require agencies subject to the public officers law to report to the committee on open government information about FOIL inquiries and agency responses   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Subdivision 1 of section 1 adds a new section 90 to the public officers law requiring state agencies that perform governmental or proprietary functions for the state to submit to the committee on open government a log of freedom of information law requests for every year that those agencies have received or have pending such requests, and enumerates the content and format of such logs. Subdivision 2 outlines reporting requirements for agencies that perform governmental or proprietary func- tions for municipalities. Subdivision 3 directs the committee on open government to publish the FOIL request logs it receives in machine-read- able format. Subdivision 4 requires the committee on open government to provide in its annual report the total number of FOIL logs submitted by agencies pursuant to the new section 90. Subdivision 5 requires the committee to publish a report outlining recommendations regarding chang- es to FOIL requirements. Section 2 is the effective date, which is the ninetieth day after the bill shall have become law.   JUSTIFICATION: Since 1974, New York's Freedom of Information Law has allowed the public to access a myriad of public documents and records, shining light on what can be obscure or complicated government processes and decision- making. Like its federal counterpart, New York's FOIL requests are a key tool for the press, the public, and advocates to hold state --- and local --- government's accountable to New Yorkers. Though FOIL is a crucial asset for transparent government in New York, we have little understanding of the full extent of its utilization. Agencies subject to New York's public officers law are not required to report to the legis- lature or to the public information about how many FOIL requests are received, for what information, and how such requests are responded to. This bill would require all state and local agencies subject to the public officers law to report basic information about their FOIL request receipts and responses to the committee on open government, and tasks the committee with making such information available to the public. Agencies that did not have any new or pending FOIL requests in any given year are not required to report. In finally collecting and publishing data about utilization of and compliance under FOIL, this bill would increase government transparency and accountability.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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A09621 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                         9621--A
                                                                Cal. No. 416
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                     March 26, 2024
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M.  of A. McDONALD, SIMON, FAHY, KELLES, McMAHON -- read
          once and referred to  the  Committee  on  Governmental  Operations  --
          reported  from  committee,  advanced  to  a third reading, amended and
          ordered reprinted, retaining its place on the order of third reading

        AN ACT to amend the public officers law, in relation to requiring  agen-
          cies  to  report  information about FOIL inquiries to the committee on
          open government
 
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. Section 90 of the public officers law is renumbered section
     2  90-a and a new section 90 is added to read as follows:
     3    §  90.  FOIL request reporting.   1. All agencies that perform govern-
     4  mental or proprietary functions for the state subject  to  this  article
     5  shall,  for  each  year in which they received or have pending a request
     6  for records under this article, submit to the committee on open  govern-
     7  ment  their log of all such freedom of information law requests. For the
     8  purposes of this section, pending shall mean requests that were open  at
     9  any  point during the twelve-month period, including those first submit-
    10  ted in prior years. The freedom of information law request logs shall:
    11    (a) cover a twelve-month range of dates as prescribed by the committee
    12  on open  government  and  shall  include  data  regarding  all  requests
    13  received or pending during that range of dates;
    14    (b)  be  submitted  on  a schedule prescribed by the committee on open
    15  government;
    16    (c) be in a machine-readable, tabular spreadsheet format prescribed by
    17  the committee on open government, including but not limited to the order
    18  of the data fields included;
    19    (d) be submitted in a method as prescribed by the  committee  on  open
    20  government,  such  as by electronic mail, web form, web portal, or other
    21  method as prescribed by the committee;
    22    (e) include data prescribed and  defined  by  the  committee  on  open
    23  government, but at the minimum including:
    24    (i) the name of the requestor;
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD14610-04-4

        A. 9621--A                          2
 
     1    (ii) the affiliation and/or the employer of the requestor, if applica-
     2  ble;
     3    (iii) the subject or subjects of the request;
     4    (iv) the date of receipt of the request;
     5    (v) the date of acknowledgment by the agency of the request;
     6    (vi)  the  date  of  the  expected  response  time  as provided in the
     7  acknowledgment;
     8    (vii) the number of extensions of time to respond to date;
     9    (viii) the date of the  final  response  or  of  the  closure  of  the
    10  request, if applicable;
    11    (ix)  whether  the  request  was granted in whole; granted in part and
    12  denied in part; or denied;
    13    (x) if the request  was  denied  in  whole  or  in  part,  a  list  of
    14  exemptions cited in the final response, if applicable;
    15    (xi) if the request was denied in whole or in part, whether the agency
    16  determined there were no responsive records;
    17    (xii)  the  date an appeal of the final response was filed, or whether
    18  no appeal was filed;
    19    (xiii) the status of any appeals, including whether the appeal was:
    20    (A) not filed;
    21    (B) filed and pending;
    22    (C) filed and granted in whole;
    23    (D) filed and granted in part and denied in part; or
    24    (E) filed and denied;
    25    (xiv) a list of exemptions cited in an appeal denial, if applicable;
    26    (xv) the amount, in dollars, of total fees collected from requestor;
    27    (xvi) how many documents were produced;
    28    (xvii) how many pages were produced;
    29    (xviii) whether any of the produced documents were redacted;
    30    (xix) whether the request was subject  to  a  proceeding  filed  under
    31  article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules, and if so:
    32    (A)  the  result,  including  judgment  for  petitioner;  judgment for
    33  respondent; or settlement;
    34    (B) the date of the final judgment, whether it be a final judgment  or
    35  stipulation of dismissal pursuant to a settlement;
    36    (C)  the  amount  of attorney fees assessed by the court to be paid by
    37  the agency, if any;
    38    (D) the date of any appeal of the article seventy-eight judgment; and
    39    (E) the result of any appeal of an article seventy-eight judgment; and
    40    (f) be published on the agency's website.
    41    2. Agencies that perform governmental  or  proprietary  functions  for
    42  municipalities  subject  to  this  article  shall submit annually to the
    43  committee on open government the total number of freedom of  information
    44  requests  received  in  a  twelve-month period beginning no earlier than
    45  January first, two thousand twenty-six, and the  number  of  freedom  of
    46  information  requests  closed  in such twelve-month period.  Submissions
    47  shall be provided in the format, method, and schedule as  prescribed  by
    48  the committee on open government.
    49    3.  By  January  first  of each year, the committee on open government
    50  shall publish, on one webpage, all freedom of  information  law  request
    51  logs  and  municipal  government  submissions it receives, in a machine-
    52  readable format such as a spreadsheet or comma separated value file,  in
    53  addition  to  any  other  format  it  shall determine, and such logs and
    54  submissions shall be preserved on such webpage. The  committee  and  the
    55  office of information technology services shall additionally publish and
    56  preserve  row-level  data of such logs and submissions on data.ny.gov or

        A. 9621--A                          3
 
     1  such other successor website maintained by, or on behalf of, the  state,
     2  as  deemed  appropriate by the office of information technology services
     3  under executive order 95 of 2013, or any successor agency or order.
     4    4. The committee on open government shall at a minimum provide, in its
     5  annual report required by section eighty-nine of this article, the total
     6  number  of FOIL logs submitted by agencies pursuant to this section, and
     7  the committee shall further be authorized to analyze  the  data  in  the
     8  freedom  of  information law request logs and use such data and analyses
     9  thereof in such annual report or other reports or analyses.
    10    5. No later than January first, two thousand twenty-seven, the commit-
    11  tee on open government shall publish a report providing  recommendations
    12  regarding  the  benefits and feasibility of agencies subject to subdivi-
    13  sion two of this section submitting freedom of information request  logs
    14  to  the committee. Such recommendations shall consider requiring data to
    15  be provided regarding the status of requests,  response  times,  use  of
    16  exemptions,  whether  records were provided in full, in part, or denied,
    17  and any other fields required by this section for state  agencies.  Such
    18  report  shall  be published on the committee's website and issued to the
    19  governor, the temporary president of the  senate,  the  speaker  of  the
    20  assembly,  the  chair  of the senate standing committee on local govern-
    21  ment, the chair of the senate standing committee on  investigations  and
    22  government  operations,  the chair of the assembly standing committee on
    23  local governments, and the chair of the assembly standing  committee  on
    24  governmental operations.
    25    §  2.  This  act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
    26  have become a law.
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