[Adopted 8-4-2005 by Res. No. 10-2005]
The following procedures shall be followed in all cases where the Town or any of its departments, officers or employees shall receive a request for access to records under FOIL.
All FOIL requests shall be in writing, on forms provided by the Town. No oral requests shall be accepted.
All FOIL requests shall be presented initially to the Town's designated Records Access Officer, the Town Clerk or his/her deputy.
Upon receipt of a FOIL request, the Records Access Officer shall immediately distribute the request to all Town department heads, and the Supervisor's office, with a request that they review their files and determine if any records responsive or potentially responsive to the request are in their possession. Responses shall be provided to the Records Access Officer by each department head and the Supervisor's office, in writing. Responding parties shall also provide any questions or concerns about the FOIL request or particular records (i.e., whether they are to be disclosed or may be privileged), in writing.
Once all department heads and the Supervisor have responded, the Records Access Officer shall advise the Town Attorney of the FOIL request, discuss any questions or concerns raised by the department heads or the Supervisor, discuss whether the request relates to matters which are or may be involved in litigation, and whether there is any question regarding the records or documents being requested.
The Town Attorney shall advise the Records Access Officer, generally, of those categories of records which are exempt from disclosure under FOIL, under the provisions of POL §§ 87 and 89 (as now enacted or subsequently amended). The most common type of records which would be privileged are any communications between attorneys of the Town (Town Attorney, Planning Board or Code Enforcement Attorney or insurance defense counsel), in any form (written, oral or electronic), and Town officials or employees containing or pertaining to confidential legal advice, whether or not related to pending or threatened litigation. This ensures that all Town officials and employees will feel free to contact their Town attorneys to seek advice and guidance, without concern that these discussions or inquiries may later become public.
If the Records Access Officer is able to identify records or groups of records which are or appear to be exempt from disclosure, he or she shall segregate these, and prepare a list of the documents by date and general description (i.e., "letter of __________, 200__ from Town Attorney to Town Assessor re: tax certiorari petition;" memo of __________, 200__ to file from Town Supervisor regarding collective bargaining with Town employees.").
The Town Attorney shall review such list and make the final decision on whether to release documents that are or may be privileged or exempt from disclosure. If necessary, the Town Attorney shall review the documents in question before making such final decision. The Town Attorney shall report such final decision to the Town Board and the Records Access Officer.