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Governor Cuomo Announces Open Foil NY

GOVERNOR CUOMO ANNOUNCES OPEN FOIL NY

Comprehensive Initiative Designed to Enhance Online Public Access to State Records

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of Open FOIL NY, a new website that provides easy and unparalleled access to public records in New York. Open FOIL NY is a convenient and centralized online location to file Freedom of Information Law requests with 59 New York State agencies and public authorities. For the first time in New York, the public has a uniform method to submit requests for government records through a single website. In addition, New York is the first state in the nation to provide an open-access records request webform that allows the requester to select multiple state agencies for a single records request.

“Open FOIL NY is a giant leap forward, bringing the Freedom of Information Law into the 21st century,” Governor Cuomo said. “This initiative will build on the success of Open NY—expanding our award-winning platform to further enhance interaction between State government and the public.”

FUTURE STEPS

In the next phase of Open FOIL NY, State agencies will be able to use software designed and built by the Office of Information Technology Services to process records requests more efficiently. The computer program will be made available to State executive agencies and authorities on a rolling basis over the next 12 months, streamlining FOIL request processing and saving State resources by:

Simplifying collection and review of agency records;
Facilitating FOIL request processing; and
Enabling quick identification of frequently requested records that should be considered for proactive public release.

In addition, individual agency FOIL websites will soon refresh their content to provide a more user-friendly interface and ensure consistency across State agencies.

Open FOIL NY will also include an online tracking system, which is planned to launch in early 2019. The system will enable users to submit, track, and receive digital records relating to their FOIL requests by creating a My Open FOIL NY account through my.ny.gov.

Robert J. Freeman, Executive Director of the Committee on Open Government, said, “This new FOIL website and access to documents will be revolutionary. The core purpose of FOIL is to make life easier and to streamline the public’s access to documents and this new project will do just that. I applaud the administration’s efforts towards accomplishing those goals.”

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