Requires the records officer of the executive chamber to redirect to the proper subordinate executive agency any records requests received within five days.
BILL NUMBER: S3990
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the public officers law, in relation to access to agency records
PURPOSE : To facilitate greater access to public documents by ensuring greater responsiveness to misdirected requests.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS : Section 1 adds a new paragraph to subdivision 4 of Section 87 of Public Officers Law requiring that within 5 days, any FOIL requests which are misdirected to the Executive Chamber shall be redirected to the appropriate executive agency; such agency upon receipt shall handle the request as it does any other FOIL request. Section 2 contains the effective date.
JUSTIFICATION : With the difficulty often faced by members of the public in attempting to identify the correct agency to which to direct a FOIL request, requests are often simply directed to the Executive Chamber. Rather than such requests being denied out of hand, this bill would require that requests for records not maintained by the Executive Chamber, but potentially maintained by an agency subordinate to the Executive Chamber, shall be redirected to the appropriate agency by the Chamber's records access officer. In so requiring, this bill recognizes the top down nature of the executive branch, and utilizes that structure to make New York State government more open and more responsive to the citizens of New York. It should also be noted that in his report following the investigation of former Governor Eliot Spitzer's alleged misuse of the State Police, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo offers support for such a policy.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : 2007: S.6476- Committed to Investigations and Governments Operations 2008: S.6476- Passed Senate
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : None.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS : None.
EFFECTIVE DATE : Immediate.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3990 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE April 7, 2009 ___________Introduced by Sen. WINNER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Govern- ment Operations AN ACT to amend the public officers law, in relation to access to agency records THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 4 of section 87 of the public officers law is amended by adding a new paragraph (d) to read as follows: (D) A RECORDS REQUEST DIRECTED TO THE EXECUTIVE CHAMBER WHICH SHOULD PROPERLY HAVE BEEN DIRECTED TO A SUBORDINATE AGENCY WITHIN THE EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT SHALL WITHIN FIVE DAYS BE REDIRECTED TO THE PROPER AGENCY BY THE RECORDS ACCESS OFFICER OF THE EXECUTIVE CHAMBER. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD11003-01-9