Authorities Budget Office FOIL Policy

Public Officers Law requires that state agencies be transparent with certain information and, when practicable make such records available for the public. 

Authorities Budget Office Statement of Transparency

A primary function of the Authorities Budget Office is to ensure the transparency of the state and local authorities in New York, and as such we hold ourselves to high standards regarding public disclosure.  While FOIL requires that our records simply be made available for public inspection, the Authorities Budget office goes a step further and makes all of its public records available on our website, www.abo.ny.gov ,  or available on New York State’s open data website, https://data.ny.gov/ , readily available to the public at any time.  The office also will aid those who seek access to a particular public record or records.

Designation of Records Access Officers

The Authorities Budget Office is responsible for ensuring compliance with the FOIL, and designates the following person as records access officer:

Michael Farrar
Deputy Director, Compliance
NYS Authorities Budget Office
(518) 474-1932
info@abo.ny.gov

The records access officer is responsible for ensuring an appropriate and timely agency response to public requests for access to records.

Inspection of Records Location

ABO records are readily available on the ABO website (www.abo.ny.gov) or upon request. The location where the records may be reviewed shall be at an agreed upon location at the Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY.

ABO records reported by state and local authorities also may be found online at the Open NY Data website, https://data.ny.gov/ .

Hours for Public Inspection

Requests for public access to records shall be accepted and records may be produced during the hours that the ABO is regularly open for business. 

These hours are:

9 AM – 5 PM or 24/7 on the Authorities Budget Office website (www.abo.ny.gov) or by searching https://data.ny.gov/ .

Requests for Public Access to Records

Requests for records should be made in writing to info@abo.ny.gov .

An acknowledgement of the request shall be provided to the requesting party within five business days of receipt.

This acknowledgement would inform the person requesting records that the request or portion of the request does not reasonably describe the records sought, including direction, to the extent possible, that would enable that person to request records reasonably described; verify the receipt of a request in writing and would provide an approximate date when the request will be fulfilled.

The response to the request shall not be more than twenty (20) business days after the date of the acknowledgment, or if it is known that circumstances prevent disclosure within twenty business days from the date of such acknowledgment, the ABO would provide a statement in writing indicating the reason for inability to grant the request within that time and a date certain, within a reasonable period under the circumstances of the request, when the request will be granted in whole or in part.

If the receipt of request was acknowledged in writing and included an approximate date when the request would be granted in whole or in part within twenty business days of such acknowledgment, but circumstances prevent disclosure within that time, providing a statement in writing within twenty business days of such acknowledgment specifying the reason for the inability to do so and a date certain, within a reasonable period under the circumstances of the request, when the request will be granted in whole or in part.

A failure to comply with the time limitations described herein shall constitute a constructive denial of a request that may be appealed.

Denial of Access to Records/Appeals

Denial of access to records shall be made in writing, stating the specific reason therefor and advising the requester of the right to appeal to the individual established to determine appeals, [who or which] shall be identified by name, title, business address and business phone number.

If requested records are not provided promptly, such failure shall also be deemed a denial of access.

The following person or persons or body shall determine appeals regarding denial of access to records under the Freedom of Information Law:

Jeffrey H. Pearlman
Director
New York State Authorities Budget Office
P.O. Box 2076
Albany, NY 12220-0076
518.474.1932
info@abo.ny.gov

Any person denied access to records may appeal within thirty days of a denial.

The time for deciding an appeal by the individual or body designated to determine appeals shall commence upon receipt of a written appeal identifying:

(1) the date and location of requests for records;
(2) a description, to the extent possible, of the records that were denied; and
(3) the name and return address of the person denied access.

A failure to determine an appeal within ten business days of its receipt by granting access to the records sought or fully explaining the reasons for further denial in writing shall constitute a denial of the appeal.

The person or body designated to determine appeals shall transmit to the Committee on Open Government copies of all appeals upon receipt of appeals. Such copies shall be addressed to:

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

The person or body designated to determine appeals shall inform the appellant and the Committee on Open Government of its determination in writing within ten business days of receipt of an appeal.

Fees

There shall be no fee charged for:

(1) inspection of records;
(2) search for records, unless the search takes more than 7.5 hours to conduct.
(3) Copies of less than 25 pages may be provided without charging a fee; however, copies of more than 25 pages will be charged .25 cents per page.

In the event a records request takes more than 7.5 hours to search and produce, the ABO may charge a fee for delivering such a request.  Such a fee shall be based upon:

 i.  an amount equal to the hourly salary attributed to the lowest paid agency employee who has the necessary skill required to prepare  a  copy of the requested record;

ii.  the  actual  cost of the storage devices or media provided to the person making the request in complying with such request;

iii. 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; and

iv. preparing a copy shall not include search time  or  administrative costs,  and  no fee shall be charged unless at least two hours of agency employee time is needed to prepare a copy of  the  record  requested.  A person  requesting  a  record shall be informed of the estimated cost of  preparing a copy of the record if more  than  two  hours  of  an  agency employee's  time  is needed, or if an outside professional service would be retained to prepare a copy of the record.