Please Note: All FOIL requests must be submitted through the Town Clerk’s Office.
The Freedom of Information Law provides the right of access to records reflective of governmental decisions and policies. A record is “any information kept, held, filed, produced or reproduced by . . . in any physical form whatsoever. . .” including tape recordings, microfilm and computer discs. All records are accessible, except records or portions of records that fall within the following nine categories of deniable records:
1. are specifically exempted from disclosure by state or federal statute;
2. would, if disclosed, result in an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
3. would, if disclosed, impair contract awards or collective bargaining negotiations;
4. are trade secrets or are submitted to an agency by a commercial enterprise or derived from information obtained from a commercial enterprise and which, if disclosed, would cause substantial injury to the competitive position of the subject enterprise;
5. are compiled for law enforcement purposes and which, if disclosed, would:
a. interfere with law enforcement investigations or judicial proceedings;
b. deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or impartial adjudication;
c. identify a confidential source or disclose confidential information relative to a criminal investigation; or
d. reveal criminal investigative techniques or procedures.
6. would, if disclosed, endanger the life or safety of any person;
7. are inter-agency or intra-agency communications, except to the extent that such materials consist of:
a. statistical or factual tabulations or data;
b. instructions to staff that affect the public;
c. final agency policy or determinations; or
d. external audits, including, but not limited to, audits performed by the comptroller and the federal government.
8. are examination questions or answers that are requested prior to the final administration of such questions; or
9. are computer access codes.
One of the exceptions to rights of access states that records may be withheld when disclosure would result in “an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy”. Unless otherwise deniable, disclosure shall not be construed to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy when identifying details are deleted, when the person to whom a record pertains consents in writing to disclosure, or when upon presenting reasonable proof of identify, a person seeks access to records pertaining to him or her.
A denial of access must be in writing, stating the reason for the denial and advising you of your right to appeal.
For more information about the law and a complete copy of the law, please see the NYS offcial FOIL page. Located here: http://www.oms.nysed.gov/foil/