senate Bill S393B

Relates to publishing records of public interest by agencies and the legislature

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 05 / Jan / 2011
    • REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
  • 06 / May / 2011
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
  • 06 / May / 2011
    • PRINT NUMBER 393A
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
  • 21 / Feb / 2012
    • NOTICE OF COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION - REQUESTED
  • 12 / Mar / 2012
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 15 / Mar / 2012
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO RULES
  • 15 / Mar / 2012
    • PRINT NUMBER 393B

Summary

Relates to publishing records of public interest by agencies and the legislature on their websites.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A5867B
Versions:
S393
S393A
S393B
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Rules
Law Section:
Public Officers Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §84, add §90, Pub Off L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Cycle:
S7109, A10314

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S393B

TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the public officers law, in relation to publishing
records of public interest by agencies and the state legislature

PURPOSE:
This bill requires each agency and house of the legislature to publish
records proactively on its internet website that are, or are likely to
be the subject of frequent requests from the same or substantially the
same records available under the freedom of information law.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one of the bill amends section 84 of the public officers law to
acknowledge the changes in technology since the law was first enacted in
the 1970s, and to encourage agencies to publish records proactively.

Section two of the bill renumbers section 90 of the public officers law
as section 90-a, and a new section 90 is added to require that each
agency and house of the state legislature shall publish, on its internet
website, to the extent that its practicable, records or portions of
records that are available to the public pursuant to the provisions of
this article, or which, in consideration of their nature, content or
subject matter, are determined by the agency to be of substantial inter-
est to the public.

In addition, this section provides that records may be removed from the
internet website when the agency determines that they are no longer of
substantial interest to the public or when they have reached the end of
their legal retention period.

The provisions of subdivision one of this section shall not apply to
records or portions of records the disclosure of which would constitute
an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy in accordance with subdivi-
sion two of section eighty-nine of this article., The committee on open
government shall promulgate regulations to effectuate the section.

Section three of the bill sets forth the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:
The Electronic Freedom of Information Act of 1996, popularly known as
E-FOIA, amended the federal disclosure statutes to require agencies to
publish records that are frequently requested, and available to the
public under the law, proactively (5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(2)(D). Federal
agencies have interpreted frequently requested to mean three requests.

Given the advances in technology since the freedom of information law
was enacted, and even since E-FOIA, state agencies have the means to
publish records proactively. And while many agencies make some records
available to the public without a freedom of information request, there
is no standard in law for proactive publication. By proactively publish-

ing records on the, internet that arc likely to be the subject of
frequent requests, agencies can refer individuals who request records to
their website. According to the committee on open government, it is rare
for an individual who is referred to the internet to object and request
a hard copy.

FISCAL IMPACT ON THE STATE:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have
become a law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 393--B

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced by Sens. KRUEGER, SQUADRON -- read twice and ordered printed,
  and  when  printed  to be committed to the Committee on Investigations
  and Government  Operations  --  committee  discharged,  bill  amended,
  ordered  reprinted  as  amended  and  recommitted to said committee --
  recommitted to the Committee on Investigations  and  Government  Oper-
  ations  in  accordance  with  Senate  Rule  6,  sec.  8  --  committee
  discharged and said bill  committed  to  the  Committee  on  Rules  --
  committee  discharged,  bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and
  recommitted to said committee

AN ACT to amend the public  officers  law,  in  relation  to  publishing
  records of public interest by agencies and the state legislature

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Section 84 of the public officers law, as added by  chapter
933 of the laws of 1977, is amended to read as follows:
  S 84. Legislative  declaration.  The  legislature  hereby finds that a
free society is maintained when government is responsive and responsible
to the public, and when the public is aware of governmental actions. The
more open a government is with its citizenry,  the  greater  the  under-
standing and participation of the public in government.
  As  state  and  local government services increase and public problems
become more sophisticated and complex and therefore harder to solve, and
with the resultant increase in revenues and expenditures, it  is  incum-
bent  upon  the state and its localities to extend public accountability
wherever and whenever feasible.
  The people's right to know the process of governmental decision-making
and to review the documents and statistics leading to determinations  is
basic  to our society. Access to such information should not be thwarted
by shrouding it with the cloak of secrecy or confidentiality.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00837-05-2

S. 393--B                           2

  SINCE THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION  LAW,  ADVANCES  IN  TECHNOLOGY  HAVE
ENHANCED  THE  ABILITY  TO  GAIN ACCESS TO AND WIDELY DISSEMINATE PUBLIC
INFORMATION.  ACCORDINGLY, THE LEGISLATURE FINDS THAT  GOVERNMENT  AGEN-
CIES,  TO  THE  EXTENT  PRACTICABLE,  SHOULD PUBLISH RECORDS THAT ARE OF
PUBLIC  INTEREST  AND  AVAILABLE  UNDER  THIS ARTICLE PROACTIVELY ON THE
INTERNET.
  The legislature therefore declares that  government  is  the  public's
business  and that the public, individually and collectively and repres-
ented by a free press, should have access to the records  of  government
in accordance with the provisions of this article.
  S  2. Section 90 of the public officers law is renumbered section 90-a
and a new section 90 is added to read as follows:
  S 90. RECORDS OF PUBLIC INTEREST. 1. EACH  AGENCY  AND  HOUSE  OF  THE
STATE  LEGISLATURE SHALL PUBLISH, ON ITS INTERNET WEBSITE, TO THE EXTENT
PRACTICABLE, RECORDS OR PORTIONS OF RECORDS THAT ARE  AVAILABLE  TO  THE
PUBLIC  PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE, OR WHICH, IN CONSID-
ERATION OF THEIR NATURE, CONTENT OR SUBJECT MATTER,  ARE  DETERMINED  BY
THE AGENCY TO BE OF SUBSTANTIAL INTEREST TO THE PUBLIC. ANY SUCH RECORDS
MAY BE REMOVED FROM THE INTERNET WEBSITE WHEN THE AGENCY DETERMINES THAT
THEY  ARE  NO  LONGER  OF  SUBSTANTIAL  INTEREST TO THE PUBLIC. ANY SUCH
RECORDS MAY BE REMOVED FROM THE INTERNET WEBSITE WHEN THEY HAVE  REACHED
THE END OF THEIR LEGAL RETENTION PERIOD. GUIDANCE ON CREATING RECORDS IN
ACCESSIBLE  FORMATS AND ENSURING THEIR CONTINUING ACCESSIBILITY SHALL BE
AVAILABLE FROM THE OFFICE FOR TECHNOLOGY AND THE STATE ARCHIVES.
  2. THE PROVISIONS OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION SHALL  NOT  APPLY
TO  RECORDS OR PORTIONS OF RECORDS THE DISCLOSURE OF WHICH WOULD CONSTI-
TUTE AN UNWARRANTED INVASION OF  PERSONAL  PRIVACY  IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH
SUBDIVISION TWO OF SECTION EIGHTY-NINE OF THIS ARTICLE.
  3.  THE  COMMITTEE  ON OPEN GOVERNMENT SHALL PROMULGATE REGULATIONS TO
EFFECTUATE THIS SECTION.
  4. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED AS TO LIMIT  OR  ABRIDGE
THE  POWER  OF  AN  AGENCY  OR HOUSE OF THE STATE LEGISLATURE TO PUBLISH
RECORDS ON ITS INTERNET WEBSITE THAT ARE SUBJECT TO  THE  PROVISIONS  OF
THIS ARTICLE PRIOR TO A WRITTEN REQUEST OR PRIOR TO A FREQUENT REQUEST.
  S  3.  This  act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
have become a law.

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