Committee on Open Government

About the Committee on Open Government

The Committee is responsible for overseeing and advising with regard to the Freedom of Information Law, the Open Meetings Law and the Personal Privacy Protection Law.

About the Committee on Open Government
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The Committee is responsible for overseeing and advising with regard to the Freedom of Information Law, the Open Meetings Law and the Personal Privacy Protection Law (Public Officers Law, Articles 6, 7 and 6-A respectively). Staff of the Committee gives advice by telephone, email, written advisory opinions, and training classes conducted throughout the state. Advice is offered to the government, the public and the news media.

The Freedom of Law (FOIL) pertains to the public's right to gain access to government records. The Open Meetings Law (OML) concerns the public's right to attend meetings of public bodies. Both statutes are based upon a presumption of access and, since their initial enactment, have undergone significant changes based largely upon recommendations made by the Committee.

A basic guide to the Freedom of Information and Open Meetings Laws, Your Right to Know, includes sample letters of request and appeal and is available on our Publications page.

The Personal Privacy Protection Law (PPPL), pertains to personal information collected and maintained by state agencies. State agencies are required to meet standards of fair information practices regarding the collection, maintenance, use and disclosure of personal information.

The Committee is required to submit a comprehensive annual report to the Governor and the Legislature describing the Committee's experience under each of the statutes and recommendations for improving them.

The Committee and the laws it oversees have gained national and international recognition as models for other jurisdictions. Its work and experience have been shared with access professionals at international conferences, and it is represented through membership in the Council on Governmental Ethics Laws and participation on the Media Law Committee of the New York State Bar Association.

Committee Members
RoAnn M. Destito, Ex-Officio, Commissioner, Office of General Services
Peter D. Grimm, Appointed by Governor, Rensselaer County Legislator
Brian Benjamin, Lieutenant Governor
Hadley Horrigan, Appointed by Governor
Robert Mujica, Jr., Ex-Officio, Director, Division of Budget
Rossana Rosado, Ex-Officio, Secretary of State
David A. Schulz, Appointed by Governor
Stephen B. Waters, Appointed by Temporary President of the Senate
Franklin H. Stone, Appointed by Speaker of the Assembly