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Request OASAS Records Through The New York State Freedom of Information Law

Request OASAS Records Through The New York State Freedom of Information Law
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Overview

The Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”), Article 6 (Sections 84-90) of the NYS Public Officers Law, provides the public right to access to 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.

Learn more about records access and Open FOIL NY.

Request Records

Use the Open FOIL NY online form

SUBMIT AN OPEN FOIL REQUEST


Mail a written request to:

Records Access Office
NYS OASAS
1450 Western Avenue
Albany, NY 12203

E-mail a written request to:

[email protected]

Fax a written request to: (518) 485-2335

Submit a request for records in person:

To submit a written request for records in-person, you may schedule an appointment by calling (518) 485-2335, and then hand-deliver the request at the scheduled date and time to NYS OASAS at 1450 Western Avenue, Albany, NY. Please be advised records require review prior to disclosure. As a result, documents and records will not be immediately available.

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) 485-2335 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 Section 87(1) authorizes an agency to charge a fee of 25 cents per copy for copies of records up 9”x 14”, or the actual cost of reproducing a record. There is also a charge of $1.00 per page for mailing labels (if available). 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 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 request;
  • 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 9:00 am and 5:00 pm at the Records Access Office, NYS OASAS 1450 Western Avenue, Albany, NY 12203. You may schedule an appointment for in-person inspection of records by calling (518) 485-2335.

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:

Records Appeal Officer
NYS OASAS
1450 Western Avenue
Albany, NY 12203

You will be informed in writing of the decision within ten business days of our receipt of such an appeal. Please indicate the FOIL Request Number when corresponding on this subject.

Subject Matter List

The following links to 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.

Agency FOIL Regulations

The Office is prohibited from releasing certain information under FOIL, HIPAA, 42 CFR Part 2, the Personal Privacy Protection law, and other laws, rules and regulations. The Office will search for records in response to your request and then review those records to determine which - and what parts of each - may be released. The Office will redact, or remove, any information protected from disclosure under the requirements noted above. The releasable records will then be sent to you.

Certain records or portions thereof are excepted from disclosure under authority of Public Officers Law Section 87.2 (a-1). These records include those which:

  • are specifically exempted from disclosure under state or federal statute,
  • if disclosed would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy,
  • if disclosed would impair present or imminent contract awards or collective bargaining negotiations,
  • are trade secrets or are submitted to the department or are derived from information obtained from a commercial enterprise and which, if disclosed, would cause substantial injury to the competitive position of the subject enterprise,
  • are compiled for law enforcement purposes and which if disclosed would interfere with law enforcement investigations or judicial proceedings, deprive a person of the right to a fair trial or impartial adjudication, identify a confidential source or disclose confidential information regarding a criminal investigation, or reveal criminal investigative techniques or procedures, except routine techniques and procedures,
  • if disclosed would endanger the life or safety of any person,
  • are inter-agency or intra-agency materials which are not statistical or factual tabulations or data, instructions to staff which affect the public or are final agency policies or determinations, are external audits, including audits performed by the comptroller and the federal government computer codes,
  • are examination questions or answers which are requested prior to the final administration of such questions.

 

Helpful Tips

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

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. Please note that the FOIL does not require the Office to do research for you, analyze data, answer written questions, or create records in response to your request.

If the Office requires additional information before it can begin to process your request, it will contact you. In the alternative, when a request is made that does not reasonably describe the records sought, the Office will provide you with an opportunity to modify or limit the scope of your request.

  • 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.
  • In an effort to increase transparency, OASAS is making more data publicly available. For this reason, information that is already publicly available will not be provided through a FOIL request. OASAS highly recommends that you review the Office website for information that is already available.