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A09621 Summary:

BILL NOA09621
 
SAME ASSAME AS S08671
 
SPONSORMcDonald
 
COSPNSR
 
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 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A9621
 
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 that agencies 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 directs the committee on open government to publish the FOIL request logs it receives in machine-readable format. Subdivision 3 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. 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 legislature 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
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                     March 26, 2024
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced by M. of A. McDONALD -- read once and referred to the Commit-
          tee on Governmental Operations
 
        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 subject to this article
     4  shall, for each year in which they received or have  pending  a  request
     5  for  records under this article, submit to the committee on open govern-
     6  ment their log of all such freedom of information law requests. For  the
     7  purposes of this section, pending shall mean requests that remained open
     8  during the twelve-month period, including those first submitted in prior
     9  years. The freedom of information law request logs shall:
    10    (a) cover a twelve-month range of dates as prescribed by the committee
    11  on  open  government  and  shall  include  data  regarding  all requests
    12  received or pending during that range of dates;
    13    (b) be submitted on a schedule prescribed by  the  committee  on  open
    14  government;
    15    (c) be in a machine-readable, tabular spreadsheet format prescribed by
    16  the committee on open government, including but not limited to the order
    17  of the data fields included;
    18    (d)  be  submitted  in a method as prescribed by the committee on open
    19  government, such as by electronic mail, web form, web portal,  or  other
    20  method as prescribed by the committee;
    21    (e)  include  data  prescribed  and  defined  by the committee on open
    22  government, but at the minimum including:
    23    (i) the name of the requestor;
    24    (ii) the affiliation of the employer of the requestor with the agency,
    25  if applicable;
    26    (iii) the date of receipt of the request;
    27    (iv) the date of acknowledgment by the agency of the request;
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD14610-01-4

        A. 9621                             2
 
     1    (v) the date of the expected response time as provided in the acknowl-
     2  edgment;
     3    (vi) the number of extensions of time to respond to date;
     4    (vii) the date of the final response or of the closure of the request,
     5  if applicable;
     6    (viii)  whether  the request was granted in whole; granted in part and
     7  denied in part; or denied;
     8    (ix) if the request was  denied  in  whole  or  in  part,  a  list  of
     9  exemptions cited in the final response, if applicable;
    10    (x)  if the request was denied in whole or in part, whether the agency
    11  determined there were no responsive records;
    12    (xi) the date an appeal of the final response was filed, or whether no
    13  appeal was filed;
    14    (xii) the status of any appeals, including whether the appeal was:
    15    (A) not filed;
    16    (B) filed and pending;
    17    (C) filed and granted in whole;
    18    (D) filed and granted in part and denied in part; or
    19    (E) filed and denied;
    20    (xiii) a list of exemptions cited in an appeal denial, if applicable;
    21    (xiv) the amount, in dollars, of total fees collected from requestor;
    22    (xv) how many documents were produced;
    23    (xvi) how many pages were produced;
    24    (xvii) whether any of the produced documents were redacted;
    25    (xviii) whether the request was subject to a  proceeding  filed  under
    26  article seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules, and if so:
    27    (A)  the  result,  including  judgment  for  petitioner;  judgment for
    28  respondent; or settlement;
    29    (B) the date of the final judgment, whether it be a final judgment  or
    30  stipulation of dismissal pursuant to a settlement;
    31    (C)  the  amount  of attorney fees assessed by the court to be paid by
    32  the agency, if any; and
    33    (D) whether the article seventy-eight judgment was appealed,  and  the
    34  date of the appeal; and
    35    (f) be published on the agency's website, if the agency has one.
    36    2.  By  January  first  of each year, the committee on open government
    37  shall publish, on one webpage, all freedom of  information  law  request
    38  logs  it receives, in a machine-readable format such as a spreadsheet or
    39  comma separated variable file, in addition to any other format it  shall
    40  determine.  The  committee  shall  additionally  publish and maintain an
    41  archive of such logs on data.ny.gov  or  such  other  successor  website
    42  maintained  by, or on behalf of, the state, as deemed appropriate by the
    43  office of information technology services under executive  order  95  of
    44  2013, or any successor agency or order.
    45    3. The committee on open government shall at a minimum provide, in its
    46  annual report required by section eighty-nine of this article, the total
    47  number  of FOIL logs submitted by agencies pursuant to this section, and
    48  the committee shall further be authorized to analyze  the  data  in  the
    49  freedom  of  information law request logs and use such data and analyses
    50  thereof in such annual report or other reports or analyses.
    51    § 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day  after  it  shall
    52  have become a law.
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