[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Newburgh 10-14-1980. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Records retention — See Ch. 88.
The people's right to know the process of government decisionmaking and the documents and statistics leading to determinations is basic to our society. Access to such information should not be thwarted by shrouding it with the cloak of secrecy or confidentiality.
These regulations provide information concerning the procedures by which records may be obtained.
Any conflicts among laws governing public access to records shall be construed in favor of the widest possible availability of public records.
The City Manager is responsible for ensuring compliance with the regulations herein and designates the following persons as records access officers:
The City Clerk, 83 Broadway, City Hall, Newburgh, New York 12550.
For Police Department records, the officer in charge, Administrative Services Division, Public Safety Building, 55 Broadway, Newburgh, New York 12550, c/o Secretary to the Chief of Police.
[Amended 6-13-1988 by L.L. No. 4-1988]
Records access officers are responsible for ensuring appropriate agency response to public requests for access to records. The designation of records access officers shall not be construed to prohibit officials who have in the past been authorized to make records or information available to the public from continuing to do so. Records access officers shall ensure that personnel:
Maintain an up-to-date subject matter list.
Assist the requester in identifying requested records, if necessary.
Upon request, certify that a record is a true copy.
Records shall be available for public inspection and copying at:
Requests for public access to records shall be accepted and records produced during all hours when designated locations are regularly open for business. These hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
A written request may be required, but oral requests may be accepted.
A response shall be given regarding any request reasonably describing the record or records sought within five business days of receipt of the request.
A request shall reasonably describe the record or records sought. Whenever possible, a person requesting records should supply information regarding dates, file designations or other information that may help to describe the records sought.
If the records access officer does not provide or deny access to the record sought within five business days of receipt of a request, he or she shall furnish a written acknowledgment of receipt of the request and a statement of the approximate date when the request will be granted or denied. If access to records is neither granted nor denied within 10 business days after the date of acknowledgment of receipt of a request, the request may be construed as a denial of access that may be appealed.
The records access officer shall maintain a reasonably detailed, current list by subject matter of all records in his or her possession, whether or not records are available pursuant to Subdivision 2 of § 87 of the Public Officers Law.
The subject matter list shall be sufficiently detailed to permit identification of the category of the record sought.
Denial of access to records shall be in writing, stating the reason therefor and advising the requester of the right to appeal to the individual designated to hear appeals.
If requested records are not provided promptly, as required in § 239-5D of these regulations, such failure shall also be deemed a denial of access.
The following person shall hear appeals for denial of access to records under the Freedom of Information Law: the Corporation Counsel, 83 Broadway, City Hall, Newburgh, New York 12550; telephone number, 914/561-0350.
The time for deciding an appeal by the individual designated to hear appeals shall commence upon receipt of a written appeal identifying:
The date of the appeal.
The date and location of the requests for records.
The records to which the requester was denied access.
Whether the denial of access was in writing or due to failure to provide records promptly as required by § 239-5D.
The name and return address of the requester.
The individual designated to hear appeals shall inform the requester of his decision in writing within seven business days of receipt of an appeal.
The person designated to hear 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, New York 12231.
The person designated to hear appeals shall inform the appellant and the Committee on Open Government of its determination in writing within seven business days of receipt of an appeal. The determination shall be transmitted to the Committee on Open Government in the same manner as set forth in Subsection F of this section.
[Amended 2-10-1997 by Ord. No. 2-97; 6-14-2010 by Ord. No. 10-2010]
Fees for reproduction of records shall be as set forth in Chapter 163, Fees, of this Code.
A notice containing the title or name and business address of the records access officers and appeals person and the location where records can be seen or copied shall be posted in a conspicuous location wherever records are kept and/or published in a local newspaper of general circulation.