Ruth Earl, the records access officer for the Department of Environmental Conservation, described the difficulties of responding to 13,000 FOIL requests every year. That means her staff, for each request, might cull through thousands of emails, spreadsheets and attachments. Tim Hoefer believed that the state should simply be posting most everything, thus, avoiding many FOIL requests. His organization, SeeThroughNY, has made some 15,000 FOIL requests for its Web site. "EFOIL: The Freedom of Information Law Meets the Digital Age," held Dec. 4 at the law school, examined the impact of technology on accessing records under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). Miriam Nisbet, Director of the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, was the keynote speaker.
Experts analyzed the significant changes in record searches created by recent technological advances, and the impact of these changes on state officials who administer the law and the members of the public who seek access to records. The discussion also identified potential reforms to New York's current public access law.
For coverage of the event by the Albany Times Union, click here.
For the full agenda, click here.
The event was sponsored by the Government Law Center of Albany Law School, Center for Law & Innovation of Albany Law School, New York State Committee on Open Government, Municipal Law Section of the New York State Bar Association and the Committee on Attorneys in Public Service of the New York State Bar Association.