senate Bill S5797A

Enlarges the definition of the term agency for certain purposes

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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

  • 16 / Jun / 2011
    • REFERRED TO RULES
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
  • 01 / Mar / 2012
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
  • 01 / Mar / 2012
    • PRINT NUMBER 5797A
  • 05 / Mar / 2012
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.276
  • 06 / Mar / 2012
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 07 / Mar / 2012
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 21 / Jun / 2012
    • COMMITTED TO RULES

Summary

Enlarges the definition of the term "agency" for certain purposes; adds provisions relating to foundations of state-operated campuses.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A7789E
Versions:
S5797
S5797A
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Rules
Law Section:
Public Officers Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§86 & 87, Pub Off L; amd §355, Ed L

Votes

7
0
7
Aye
0
Nay
1
aye with reservations
0
absent
0
excused
0
abstained
show Investigations and Government Operations committee vote details

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S5797A

TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the public officers law, in relation to the disclosure
of agency records; and to amend the education law, in relation to
guidelines for foundations of state operated campuses

PURPOSE:
Expands the definition of agencies that are required to make documents
available to the public under the Freedom of Information Law.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Amends subdivision three of section eighty-six of the Public Officers
Law (the Freedom of Information Law, of FOIL). Adds to the definition
of the term "agency" certain types of corporations, foundations and
associations that are created by, controlled by or affiliated with a
state agency including but not limited to SUNY.

JUSTIFICATION:
The Freedom of Information Law has played a crucial role in opening up
the operations of government agencies to public discussion and
reporting. This has increased accountability and responsiveness of
government agencies.

However, the current definition of agencies covered by the FOIL law
leaves out certain types of agencies that are technically not agencies
of state or local government. These entities are often incorporated as
not for profit corporations or limited liability corporations, but
operate in effect as subsidiaries of state agencies. For example the
SUNY Research Foundation is incorporated as a not for profit but
operates as an extensions of SUNY and is controlled by SUNY officials.
The Research Foundation describes itself as "the organization
responsible for managing research grants and other sponsored programs
for SUNY." Yet corporations of this type often refuse to disclose
information to the press and the public on the basis that they are not
state agencies as defined in the law.

This bill proposes to expand the definition of agency so that any
organization that operates as a closely affiliated extension of a
state agency will be covered by the FOIL law regardless of its
corporate structure. These organizations spend millions of dollars of
funds that were received by grants or donations that were intended to
further the public purpose of their affiliated state agency. The shell
of a separate corporate entity should not be used as an excuse to deny
public access to information about how they use these funds.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
New legislation.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
January 1, 2013, with provisions.


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

                                 5797--A

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              June 16, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens. LAVALLE, SAVINO -- read twice and ordered printed,
  and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules  --  recom-
  mitted to the Committee on Investigations and Government Operations in
  accordance  with  Senate  Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill
  amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said  commit-
  tee

AN  ACT  to amend the public officers law, in relation to the disclosure
  of agency records; and to amend the  education  law,  in  relation  to
  guidelines for foundations of state operated campuses

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

  Section 1. Subdivision 3 of section 86 of the public officers law,  as
added by chapter 933 of the laws of 1977, is amended to read as follows:
  3.  (A)  "Agency"  means  any  state  or  municipal department, board,
bureau, division, commission, committee, public authority, public corpo-
ration, council,  office  or  other  governmental  entity  performing  a
governmental  or  proprietary  function for the state or any one or more
municipalities thereof, except the judiciary or the state legislature.
  (B) FOR PURPOSES OF THIS ARTICLE, "AGENCY" SHALL INCLUDE THE  RESEARCH
FOUNDATION OF THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK, FOUNDATIONS AND AUXILIA-
RY  SERVICE CORPORATIONS ASSOCIATED WITH ANY PUBLIC COLLEGE OR UNIVERSI-
TY, AND NOT-FOR-PROFIT CORPORATIONS AND LIMITED  LIABILITY  CORPORATIONS
CREATED  OR  CONTROLLED  BY  ANY  PUBLIC  COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY, AND THE
CORPORATIONS IDENTIFIED IN PARAGRAPH (D) OF SUBDIVISION FIVE OF  SECTION
FIFTY-THREE-A  OF  THE  STATE  FINANCE  LAW, PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT THE
PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL NOT APPLY TO THE STATUTORY COLLEGES
AND CONTRACT COLLEGES AT ALFRED AND CORNELL OR ANY ALUMNI ASSOCIATION OR
CLINICAL PRACTICE PLAN ASSOCIATED WITH A PUBLIC COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY.
  S 2. Paragraph (l) of subdivision 2 of section 87 of the public  offi-
cers law, as added by section 12 of part II of chapter 59 of the laws of
2010, is amended and two new paragraphs (m) and (n) are added to read as
follows:

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD13175-03-2

S. 5797--A                          2

  (l)  are  photographs,  microphotographs,  videotape or other recorded
images produced by a bus lane photo device prepared under  authority  of
section eleven hundred eleven-c of the vehicle and traffic law[.];
  (M) ARE RECORDS OF AN AGENCY RELATING TO CHARITABLE DONORS OR PROSPEC-
TIVE DONORS, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE FUND-RAISING STRATEGIES OF
AGENCIES  IDENTIFIED  IN  PARAGRAPH  (B) OF SUBDIVISION THREE OF SECTION
EIGHTY-SIX OF THIS ARTICLE, PROVIDED THAT RECORDS RELATING TO FUND-RAIS-
ING STRATEGIES WOULD, IF DISCLOSED, IMPAIR THE ABILITY OF THOSE AGENCIES
TO ATTRACT OR GAIN DONATIONS, AND PROVIDED FURTHER THAT THE NAME OF  ANY
DONOR  AND THE AMOUNT OF DONATION MADE BY SUCH DONOR SHALL BE SUBJECT TO
DISCLOSURE IF SUCH DONOR, OR ANY  ENTITY  IN  WHICH  SUCH  DONOR  HAS  A
SUBSTANTIAL INTEREST, SEEKS TO TRANSACT BUSINESS, OR DOES TRANSACT BUSI-
NESS,  WITH  THE AGENCY TO WHICH THE DONATION IS MADE WITHIN THREE YEARS
OF THE DATE OF SUCH DONATION. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL EXEMPT  FROM
DISCLOSURE THE AMOUNT OR VALUE OF AN INDIVIDUAL GIFT, GRANT, DONATION OR
PLEDGE;
  (N)  ARE  ACADEMIC OR SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH OR RESEARCH-RELATED RECORDS,
INCLUDING ANY DRAFT, PRELIMINARY OR UNFUNDED GRANT OR CONTRACT DOCUMENT,
WHETHER SPONSORED BY THE AGENCY ITSELF OR IN CONJUNCTION  WITH  A  THIRD
PARTY, OR RECORDS RELATING TO THE AGENCY'S INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, WHICH,
IF DISCLOSED, WOULD ADVERSELY AFFECT LICENSE, PATENT, COPYRIGHT OR OTHER
RIGHTS OF THE AGENCY. THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL NOT PERMIT AN AGENCY TO WITH-
HOLD RECORDS OR PORTIONS THEREOF PERTAINING TO THE NAME, TITLE, EXPENDI-
TURE,  SOURCE  OR  AMOUNT OF PUBLIC FUNDING RELATING TO SUCH RESEARCH OR
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY.
  S 3. The opening paragraph of subdivision 6  of  section  355  of  the
education  law  is  designated  paragraph (a) and a new paragraph (b) is
added to read as follows:
  (B) THE STATE UNIVERSITY TRUSTEES SHALL ADOPT GUIDELINES  FOR  FOUNDA-
TIONS OF STATE-OPERATED CAMPUSES THAT REQUIRE EACH FOUNDATION TO ADOPT A
CONFLICT OF INTEREST POLICY APPLICABLE TO SUCH FOUNDATION AND ITS AFFIL-
IATED  CORPORATIONS.  AMONG  OTHER ITEMS, THE STATE UNIVERSITY TRUSTEES'
GUIDELINES SHALL REQUIRE SUCH FOUNDATION POLICIES TO PROVIDE:  (I)  THAT
SERVICE  AS  A  BOARD  MEMBER  OR OFFICER THEREOF SHALL NOT BE USED AS A
MEANS FOR PRIVATE BENEFIT OR INUREMENT FOR THE BOARD MEMBER  OR  OFFICER
OR RELATIVE THEREOF, OR ANY ENTITY IN WHICH THE BOARD MEMBER OR OFFICER,
OR  RELATIVE  THEREOF,  HAS A BUSINESS INTEREST; (II) NO BOARD MEMBER OR
OFFICER WHO IS A VENDOR OF GOODS OR SERVICES TO THE  FOUNDATION  OR  ITS
AFFILIATED  CORPORATION,  OR  HAS A BUSINESS INTEREST IN SUCH VENDOR, OR
WHOSE RELATIVE HAS A BUSINESS INTEREST IN SUCH VENDOR, SHALL VOTE ON, OR
PARTICIPATE IN THE FOUNDATION'S ADMINISTRATION OF, AND TRANSACTION  WITH
SUCH  VENDOR; AND (III) A BOARD MEMBER OR OFFICER SHALL ADVISE THE CHAIR
OF THE FOUNDATION OR ITS AFFILIATED CORPORATION OF HIS, HER OR  A  RELA-
TIVE'S  BUSINESS  INTEREST  IN ANY SUCH EXISTING OR PROPOSED VENDOR WITH
THE FOUNDATION OR ITS AFFILIATE. THE STATE UNIVERSITY  TRUSTEE'S  GUIDE-
LINES  SHALL  DEFINE THE NATURE OF A BUSINESS INTEREST AND THE CLOSENESS
OF A PERSONAL RELATION THAT BRING A RELATIONSHIP WITHIN THE PURPOSES  OF
THIS SECTION.
  S  4.  This  act shall take effect January 1, 2013; provided, however,
that the amendments to paragraph (l) of subdivision 2 of section  87  of
the public officers law made by section two of this act shall not affect
the  repeal  of  such  paragraph and shall expire and be deemed repealed
therewith; provided further that the  amendments  to  subdivision  6  of
section 355 of the education law made by section three of this act shall
not  affect  the  expiration  of such subdivision and shall be deemed to
expire therewith.

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