Authorizes and directs the committee on open government to study proactive disclosure as a means of increasing transparency and access to government information.
TITLE OF BILL: An act in relation to authorizing and directing the committee on open government to study proactive disclosure as a means of increasing transparency and access to government information
PURPOSE: To authorize the State Committee on Open Government to conduct a feasibility study on requiring state and municipal agencies to proactively disclose documents that are available under Article 6 of the public officers law.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 sets forth the legislative findings and intent. Section 2 authorizes the New York State Committee on Open Government to study and report on the following:
* The feasibility of requiring agencies as defined in subdivision 3 of section 86 of the public officer's law to proactively disclose documents available under Article 6 of the public officer's law.
* Specific findings and legislative recommendations relating to mandatory proactive disclosure by agencies.
* Estimated costs or savings of proactive disclosure.
Requires a report to the Governor, Temporary President of the Senate and Speaker of the Assembly no later than January 31, 2013.
EXISTING LAW: Article 6 of the Public Officers law set forth the Freedom of Information Law.
JUSTIFICATION: As information technology throughout the world continues to develop by leaps and bounds, the availability and ease of retrieval of information of information of all types has become more and more effortless.
The goal of the original Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) was to promote the public good by disclosing information as widely as possible and without impediment, but it has its limitations because of the burden that it places on the public to make requests for information. While some state and local records are already available electronically, this information has been made public in a haphazard and uncoordinated fashion.
The Legislature, through this bill, has the opportunity to study the feasibility of requiring agencies to pro actively disclose information in a responsible, comprehensive, coordinated, cost effective fashion. It requires the Committee on Open Government to develop a plan for mandatory proactive disclosure which will allow for the utilization of the new technology to allow a secure conduit for the public to access vital public information and documents that are available under the public officers law.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-2010: S.3530A/A.7399A (Passed Senate 2009)
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 88 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. SQUADRON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Govern- ment Operations AN ACT in relation to authorizing and directing the committee on open government to study proactive disclosure as a means of increasing transparency and access to government information THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Legislative findings. The legislature finds that the current freedom of information law, enacted in 1977, has served as a critical vehicle under which the public has gained access to records of state and local governmental entities. The legislature further finds that the freedom of information law places the burden on the individual to request information from an agency, but that the use of current information technology, combined with a commitment to proactive disclo- sure, has the potential to provide information to the public to an even greater degree than does the current law. S 2. The New York state committee on open government is hereby author- ized and directed to: (a) study the feasibility of requiring agencies, as defined in subdivision 3 of section 86 of the public officers law, to proactively disclose documents that are available under article 6 of the public officers law; (b) make specific findings and legislative recom- mendations relating to mandatory proactive disclosure by agencies; (c) estimate the costs or savings of proactive disclosure; and (d) report its findings to the governor, the temporary president of the senate and the speaker of the assembly no later than January 31, 2013. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD00917-01-1