Requires the committee on open government to provide guidance to agencies on the development and maintenance of subject matter lists.
Ayes (58): Adams, Addabbo, Alesi, Avella, Ball, Bonacic, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Duane, Espaillat, Farley, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Gianaris, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Johnson, Kennedy, Klein, Krueger, Lanza, Larkin, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Martins, Maziarz, McDonald, Montgomery, Nozzolio, O'Mara, Parker, Peralta, Perkins, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Robach, Saland, Sampson, Savino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Excused (3): Breslin, Huntley, Oppenheimer
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the public officers law, in relation to providing guidance to agencies on the development and maintenance of subject matter lists
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
This bill will improve state agency preparation of subject matter lists of records maintained under the Freedom of Information Law, by authorizing the dissemination of general guidance by the Committee on Open Government.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one of the bill adds a new subparagraph (vi) to §89(1) (b) of the Public Officers Law to authorize the Committee on Open Government (COG) to provide guidance to agencies on the development and maintenance of subject matter lists under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). Among the forms this guidance may take are the dissemination of model lists in print or electronic format and the recognition of best practices and, in consultation with the State Archives and Records Administration, information on how records retention schedules and agency records management activities can be used to facilitate the development and maintenance of such lists.
EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW WHICH THIS BILL WOULD ALTER:
Although state agencies are currently required to maintain reasonably detailed, current subject matter lists, a recent review of their efforts has shown that many lists are seriously outdated and/or lacking in substantial detail. This bill would help to rectify such lapses.
Article 6 of the Public Officers law, better known as the "Freedom of Information law" (FOIL), is intended to make it easier to locate and obtain state agency records that are of interest to the public. Among other things, FOIL requires each state agency to maintain a "reasonably detailed current list by subject matter of all records in the possession of the agency." However, a recent Legislative study found that many agency lists were seriously outdated -- in some cases by 10 years or more - and many lists contained little detail or omitted significant categories of agency records. The report included several recommendations to improve agency compliance with FOIL's standards for subject matter lists. One was for COG to facilitate the preparation of high-quality lists by providing guidance to agencies, including such tools as model lists and the recognition of agency best practices. As discussed in the report, the records management activities of the State Archives & Records Administration (SARA) can also be a source of assistance for agencies. For example, the categories employed in the general records retention schedule
developed by SARA could be carried over to form part of an agency's subject matter list. The bill provides for collaboration by COG and SARA in creating such guidance.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2005-06: A.10347: Passed Assembly/S.7806: Senate Investigations & Govt. Operations Cmte. 2007-08: A.3403: Passed Assembly 2009-10: S.3803: Investigations & Government Operations
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
120th day after it becoming law; provided that COG is immediately authorized and directed to promulgate any rules and regulations and take any other actions necessary for implementation of this act on such date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4706 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE April 14, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. FLANAGAN -- 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 providing guid- ance to agencies on the development and maintenance of subject matter lists THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 1 of section 89 of the public officers law, as amended by chapter 182 of the laws of 2006, is amended to read as follows: (b) The committee shall: i. furnish to any agency advisory guidelines, opinions or other appro- priate information regarding this article; ii. furnish to any person advisory opinions or other appropriate information regarding this article; iii. promulgate rules and regulations with respect to the implementa- tion of subdivision one and paragraph (c) of subdivision three of section eighty-seven of this article; iv. request from any agency such assistance, services and information as will enable the committee to effectively carry out its powers and duties; v. develop a form, which shall be made available on the internet, that may be used by the public to request a record;
[and]vi. PROVIDE GUIDANCE TO AGENCIES ON THE DEVELOPMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF REASONABLY DETAILED CURRENT LISTS BY SUBJECT MATTER OF ALL RECORDS IN THE POSSESSION OF SUCH AGENCIES, WHICH MAY INCLUDE THE DISSEMINATION OF MODEL LISTS IN PRINT OR ELECTRONIC FORMAT AND THE RECOGNITION OF BEST PRACTICES BY AGENCIES AND, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE STATE ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION, DEVELOP AND PROVIDE GUIDANCE ON THE USE OFEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10892-01-1 S. 4706 2
RECORDS RETENTION SCHEDULES AND AGENCY RECORDS MANAGEMENT ACTIVITIES TO FACILITATE THE DEVELOPMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF SUCH LISTS; AND VII. report on its activities and findings regarding this article and article seven of this chapter, including recommendations for changes in the law, to the governor and the legislature annually, on or before December fifteenth. S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law; provided, however, that the committee on open government shall be immediately authorized and directed to promul- gate any rules and regulations and take any other actions necessary for implementation of this act on such effective date.