An act to amend the public officers law, in relation to making certain
public records available on the internet
To expand the FOIL process to include a greater range of records,
increase the number of agencies eligible to FOIL requests, increase data
published on public websites, restructure the Committee on Open Govern-
ment, and create an expanded appeals process for denied FOIL requests.
Section 1: Amends section 84 of the public officers law, by adding to
the legislative declaration that people have a right to know how govern-
ment operates and spends money and that government agencies should
publish public records proactively that are of the interest to the
public and available.
Section 2: Amends Section 86 of the public officers law by adding school
districts and agencies to the list of entities that are eligible for
FOIL. Amends definition of records and updates it to include a wider
range of electronically stored information and data. Adds a definition
of "Publishable State Data".
Section 3: Amends Section 87 of the public officers law by making the
Committee on Open Government the primary FOIL regulation promulgator.
Outlines exceptions to providing information, such as information that
could interfere with an agency's investigation or judicial proceeding,
or could impair contract awards. Mandates that agencies shall maintain a
website and post information relating to public documents that are
deemed eligible to be published under the act. Information includes
current fiscal year budget.
Section 4: Amends Section 89 of the public officers law by changing the
composition of the Committee on Open Government, qualifications for
those who can be selected, and provides appointment from a published
list of candidates. Takes FOIL appeals out of the agencies to be handled
by the Committee on Open Government. Clarifies and expands upon an agen-
cy's responsibilities for meeting disclosure timeline, sets guidelines
for denials, and makes all responses sworn under penalty of perjury.
Creates a procedure for appeals and extends timeline in which appeals
can be filed from 30 days to 90 days.
Section 5: Sets effective date.
A cornerstone of democracy is the ability of its citizens to know how
government operates, makes decisions, and spends its money. Government
is the public's business and the public, individually and collectively
and represented by a free press, should have access to the records of
This legislation will increase this access and transparency by expanding
the FOIL process by making additional agencies eligible to FOIL
requests, increasing the responsibilities of agencies to respond to FOIL
requests, increasing the amount of data that is published on public
websites, changing the composition of the Committee on Open Government
and its duties, and expanding the appeals process for denied requests.
In doing so, the public will have greater access to documents, data,
reports, and financials of government entities and be able to hold the
government more accountable in its decisions.
2021-2022: S8926, Referred to Investigations and Government Operations
2021-2022: No Assembly Same-As
To be determined.
This act shall take effect immediately.

Statutes affected:
S3438: 84 public officers law
S3438A: 84 public officers law