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Hochul begins fulfilling Freedom of Information Law requests

Mar 21, 2022 1:11 pm

Michelle Del Rey reports in the Times Union that Gov. Kathy Hochul is slowly starting to respond to Freedom of Information Law requests quickly and transparently. Previously, legal requests for public information from the state were often delayed, or ignored. Since taking office last summer Hochul's office has changed many policies of her predecessor. Hochul is now requiring state agencies to identify and publicly post frequently requested documents. While former Gov. Andrew Cuomo required certain Freedom of Information Law requests, especially those from by news organizations, be forwarded to the Executive Chamber for review, Hochul has not. And Hochul is getting the state Office of Information Technology and Services to improve the state’s process for receiving, processing and responding to FOIL requests. "On my first day in office, I pledged to turn the page on the old ways of Albany and restore New Yorkers’ faith in their government," the governor said in a statement last week. "We’re taking meaningful action to streamline the process to access public records, so journalists and members of the public can more easily access information to which they are entitled. While there’s always more to do, I’m proud of the steps my administration has taken to increase transparency and accountability in New York state government." Reinvent Albany, a government accountability group, applauded Hochul's efforts. "Gov. Hochul’s agency transparency plans are a fundamental first step for assessing what agencies need to do to comply with the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), Open Data Executive Order and other mandates. If done well, the plans will also show the governor and Legislature what else needs to be done to increase public access to state government information." Read more about this story in the Times Union.