S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K
2011-2012 Regular Sessions
I N S E N A T E
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.
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
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.