The Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”), Article 6 (Sections 84-90) of the NYS Public Officers Law, provides the public right to access records maintained by government agencies with certain exceptions.

“Record” means any information kept, held, filed, produced or reproduced by, with, or for this agency, in any physical form whatsoever including, but not limited to, reports, statements, examinations, memoranda, opinions, folders, files, books, manuals, pamphlets, forms, papers, designs, drawings, maps, photos, letters, microfilms, computer tapes or disks, rules, regulations or codes.

Please note that the Committee on Open Government is authorized to provide advice and opinions pertaining to FOIL. The Committee does not have custody or control over records generally. We cannot provide access to the records of other government agencies because this office does not possess them.

When seeking records under FOIL, a request should be made to the agency that maintains the records. Further, pursuant to regulations promulgated by the Committee on Open Government (21 NYCRR Part 1401), each agency must designate one or more persons as "records access officer." The records access officer has the duty of coordinating an agency’s response to requests for records, and a request should ordinarily be directed to that person.

Request Records


Use the GovQA online form:

submit a foil request


Mail a written request to:

Committee on Open Government 
Records Access Officer 
One Commerce Plaza 
99 Washington Avenue 
Albany, NY  12231 

E-mail a written request to:

[email protected]

Fax a written request to: (518) 474-4597


FOIL Process

Within five business days of the receipt of a written request for a record reasonably described, we will send you a letter either: making such record available; denying such request in writing; or furnishing a written acknowledgment of the receipt of such request. If you have not received a letter within five business days, please contact us at 518-474-2518 or [email protected]

An acknowledgment letter will provide you with an estimate of when the records you request will be available, which shall be reasonable under the circumstances of the request. This date is determined by the number of documents you request, their format, their availability, the time it takes to redact any information that cannot be disclosed pursuant to FOIL, the time it takes to assemble the documents, and other factors.

If the records you request require a fee to be paid, you will be notified prior to the records being released to you. Unless a different fee is otherwise prescribed by statute, Public Officers Law §87(1) authorizes an agency to charge a fee of 25¢ per copy for copies of records up 9”x 14”, or the actual cost of reproducing a record. In determining the actual cost of producing a record, an agency may include only:

  • an amount equal to the hourly salary attributed to the lowest paid agency employee who has the necessary skill required to prepare the requested record(s), if at least two hours of agency employee time is needed to prepare a copy of the record(s) requested;
  • the actual cost of the storage devices or media provided to the person making the request in complying with such request; and
  • the actual cost to the agency of engaging an outside professional service to prepare a copy of a record, but only when an agency's information technology equipment is inadequate to prepare a copy, if such service is used to prepare the copy.

Once the requested records are prepared, you may receive the records via email, fax, paper, CD/DVD, or USB. 

Records are available for inspection, by appointment, on business days between the hours 9 a.m. through 12 noon and 1 p.m. through 4 p.m at either (depending on specific record location):

NYS Committee on Open Government
Department of State
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Avenue, Suite 650
Albany, NY 12231

You may schedule an appointment for in-person inspection of records by calling 518-474-2518.

Right to Appeal

Under provisions of the Public Officers Law you may appeal a FOIL determination.  If you desire to submit such an appeal, you must do so within 30 days of the written response to your FOIL request. Please include a copy of the original request for records and a copy of the FOIL response letter you received along with your appeal letter to: 

  • Committee on Open Government
    FOIL Appeal Officer
    One Commerce Plaza, Suite 650
    99 Washington Avenue 
    Albany, NY  12231 
  • Or by e-mail to [email protected] Attn: FOIL Appeal Officer

You will be informed in writing of the decision within ten business days of our receipt of such an appeal.  Please include a copy of your original request or FOIL request number and a copy of the Committee on Open Government’s response when corresponding on this subject.

Subject Matter List

The following is a current list of records, by subject matter, that are maintained by this agency.  Some of the listed records may be exempt from disclosure pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law.

Records Subject Matter List

Please note that the Committee on Open Government is authorized to provide advice and opinions pertaining to FOIL. The Committee does not have custody or control over records generally. We cannot provide access to the records of other government agencies because this office does not possess them.

Helpful Tips

For more information about FOIL, please visit the New York State Committee on Open Government’s website.

When submitting a FOIL request:

  • Be as specific as possible in describing the requested records. Include relevant dates, names, descriptions, etc. See suggested language for a FOIL request from the Committee on Open Government.
  • Specify whether you would like to inspect the records or have copies of the records sent to you.
  • If records are available, specify how you want them sent, i.e., via US mail, e-mail or fax. We may choose to send the records by U.S. mail, if you have requested a large volume of records, for security or other important reasons. We will notify you of any charge for reproducing such records before they are sent to you.
  • Include your e-mail, mailing address and fax number, as well as a telephone number where you can be reached during business hours, if it is necessary to clarify your request.
  • Please note that the agency is not required to create a new record in response to FOIL requests.