New York Public Records
The New York Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), passed into law 1978, outlines and defines what documentation is to be considered public record as well as defines the process by which such records must be requested and provided. It also preserves the Committee on Open Government, which was created by enactment of the original Freedom of Information Law in 1974 and oversees the transparency of government.
The law defines "agency" to include all units of state and local government in New York State, including state agencies, public corporations and authorities, as well as any other governmental entities performing a governmental function for the state or for one or more units of local government in the state (section 86(3)). The term "agency" does not include the State Legislature or the courts.
The law defines "record" as "any information kept, held, filed, produced or reproduced by, with or for an agency or the State Legislature, in any physical form whatsoever. . ." (section 86(4)). this would include various media types such as tape or voice recordings, microfilm, video, and computer discs. An agency is not required to create a new record or provide information in response to questions to comply with the law. However, the courts have held that an agency must provide records in the form requested if it has the ability to do so. For instance, if records are accessible on paper or on a computer tape or disk, the public may choose to obtain them either way.
Exemptions include items that may put personal privacy or state or national security at risk, or may hinder an open investigation.
Agencies can require that requests for public records follow a specific form (which is accessible via those agencies). Copies of records must be made available on request. Except when a different fee is prescribed by statute, an agency may not charge for inspection, certification or search for records, or charge in excess of 25 cents per photocopy up to 9 by 14 inches (section 87(1)(b)(iii)). Fees for copies of other records may be charged based upon the actual cost of reproduction.
A Brief History New York
New York is located on the American north Atlantic coast and is bordered by Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Jersey, Ontario and Quebec. It is the 3rd most populous state in the US, and is 27th in land mass; New York City is the most populated city in the country and is known as the gateway for immigration, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty are located here. NYC is also considered to be a world capital in the cultural, fashion and financial industries.
New York was first claimed by non-indigenous people in the early 17th century- by the Dutch and the French, and later became an English colony by the middle 1600's. New York also played a pivotal role in the American Revolution, playing host to nearly 1/3 of all battles fought; it was the 11th state to ratify the Constitution.
Like so many states, New York's early economy was based on trade with the neighboring peoples; agriculture and other goods. Today, the New York State economy is still largely agricultural based, and New York ranks among the top five states for products such as dairy, apples, cherries, cabbage, potatoes, onions, maple syrup and many others. It is the nations biggest producer of cabbage. Nearly 25% of the land in New York State is used for farming. Other industries of importance include printing and publishing, scientific instruments, electric equipment, machinery, chemical products, and tourism.
Contacting the State Government of NY
Governor of NY
Albany, NY 12224
Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests must be submitted in writing to the Executive Chamber Records Access Officer. Requests can be delivered in person, mailed, faxed or emailed as indicated below.
Records Access Officer: Assistant Counsel to the Governor
Appeals Officer: First Assistant Counsel to the Governor
Mailing or Delivery Address:
Records Access Officer
Albany, NY 12224
Office of the State Comptroller
110 State Street
Albany, NY 12236
Office of Unclaimed Funds
1-800-221-9311 (Monday through Friday, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm)
1-866-805-0990 or 518-474-7736 (in the Albany area)
Report Government Waste, Abuse or Fraud
1-888-OSC-4555 or 1-888-672-4555 (Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.)
Freedom of Information Requests
Public Authorities Reporting Information System (PARIS)
Locally within the Albany, NY area: 518-408-4672
Local Government and School Accountability
General Inquiries: 518-474-4037
Technical Assistance/Professional Standards: 518-474-5404
Financial Reporting/Electronic Filing of Reports: 518-474-4014
Justice Court Fund: 518-473-6438
Statewide and Regional Projects: 607-721-8306
Requests for Publications and Government Data: 518-474-6975
Payroll: 518-474-3400 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accounting Operations: 518-474-4017
Financial Reporting: 518-486-1233 or Email: email@example.com
State Financial Systems - FOCAS: 518-408-3125 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
State Government Accountability
Office of the State Deputy Comptroller for the City of New York
1-877-NYSAVES or 1-877-697-2837
Oil Spill Fund
Office of the Attorney General
Albany, NY 12224-0341
General Helpline: 1-800-771-7755
Health Care Hotline: 1-800-428-9071
Medicaid Fraud Control Unit: 212-417-5397
For the Hearing Impaired: 1-800-788-9898
Immigration Fraud Hotline: 212-416-6149
Assembly Public Information Office (518) 455-4218.
List of Assembly Members
NY Courts of Appeals:
State of New York Court of Appeals
20 Eagle Street, Albany, New York 12207-1095
Court of Appeals Switchboard:
Questions Concerning Motions:
Questions Concerning Criminal Leave Applications:
Questions Concerning Civil and Criminal Appeals:
Questions Concerning Attorney Admission and Discipline: