Records retention and disposition — See Ch. 64.
§ 261-1Purpose and scope.
§ 261-2Designation of records access
§ 261-4Hours for public inspection.
§ 261-5Requests for public access to
§ 261-6Subject matter list.
§ 261-7Denial of access to records;
§ 261-9Posting of public notice.
The people's right to know the process of government decisionmaking and the documents and statistics leading to determination is basic to our society. Access to such information should not be thwarted by shrouding it with the cloak of secrecy or confidentiality.
This chapter provides information concerning the procedures by which records may be obtained.
Personnel shall furnish to the public the information and records required by the Freedom of Information Law (Article 6 of the Public Officers Law), as well as records otherwise available by law.
Any conflicts among laws governing public access to records shall be construed in favor of the widest possible availability of public records
The Barre Town Board is responsible for insuring compliance with the regulations herein, and designates the following person as records access officer: the Barre Town Clerk, whose business address is 14317 West Barre Road, Albion, New York 14411.
The records access officer is responsible for insuring appropriate agency response to public requests for access to records. The designation of a records access officer 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. The records access officer shall insure that agency personnel:
Maintain an up-to-date subject matter list.
Assist persons seeking records to identify the records sought, if necessary, and when appropriate, indicate the manner in which the records are filed, retrieved or generated to assist persons in reasonably describing records.
Contact persons seeking records when a request is voluminous or when locating the records involves substantial effort, so that personnel may ascertain the nature of records of primary interest and attempt to reasonably reduce the volume of records requested.
Upon request, certify that a record is a true copy; and
Records shall be available for public inspection and copying at 14317 West Barre Road, Albion, New York 14411.
Requests for public access to records shall be accepted and records produced during all hours regularly open for business. These hours are:
A written request may be required, but oral requests may be accepted when records are readily available.
If records are maintained on the Internet, the requester shall be informed that the records are accessible via the Internet and in printed form either on paper or other information storage medium.
A response shall be given within five business days of receipt of a request by:
Informing a 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;
Granting or denying access to records in whole or in part;
Acknowledging the receipt of a request in writing, including an approximate date when the request will be granted or denied in whole or in part, which shall be reasonable under the circumstances of the request and shall not be more than 20 business days after the date of the acknowledgment, or if it is known that circumstances prevent disclosure within 20 business days from the date of such acknowledgment, providing 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; or
If the receipt of a request was acknowledged in writing and included an approximate date when the request would be granted in whole or in part within 20 business days of such acknowledgment, but circumstances prevent disclosure within that time, providing a statement in writing within 20 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.
In determining a reasonable time for granting or denying a request under the circumstances of a request, personnel shall consider the volume of a request, the ease or difficulty in locating, retrieving or generating records, the complexity of the request, the need to review records to determine the extent to which they must be disclosed, the number of requests received by the agency, and similar factors that bear on the ability to grant access to records promptly and within a reasonable time.
A failure to comply with the time limitations described herein shall constitute a denial of a request that may be appealed. Such failure shall include situations in which an officer or employee:
Fails to grant access to the records sought, fails to deny access in writing or fails to acknowledge the receipt of a request within five business days of the receipt of a request;
Acknowledges the receipt of a request within five business days but fails to furnish an approximate date when the request will be granted or denied in whole or in part;
Furnishes an acknowledgment of the receipt of a request within five business days with an approximate date for granting or denying access in whole or in part that is unreasonable under the circumstances of the request;
Fails to respond to a request within a reasonable time after the approximate date given or within 20 business days after the date of the acknowledgment of the receipt of a request;
Determines to grant a request in whole or in part within 20 business days of the acknowledgment of the receipt of a request, but fails to do so, unless the agency provides the reason for its inability to do so in writing and a date certain within which the request will be granted, in whole or in part;
Does not grant a request in whole or in part within 20 business days of the acknowledgment of the receipt of a request and fails to provide the reason in writing explaining the inability to do so and a date certain by which the request will be granted in whole or in part;
Responds to a request, stating that more than 20 business days is needed to grant or deny the request in whole or in part and provides a date certain within which that will be accomplished, but such date is unreasonable under the circumstances of the request.
The records access officer shall maintain a reasonably detailed current list by subject matter of all records in its 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.
The subject matter list shall be updated annually. The most recent update shall appear on the first page of the subject matter list.
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 or body 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 as required in § 261-5 of this chapter, such failure shall also be deemed a denial of access.
The following body shall determine appeals regarding denial of access to records under the Freedom of Information Law: Barre Town Board, 14317 West Barre Road, Albion, New York 14411, phone (585) 589-5100, extension 6.
Any person denied access to records may appeal within 30 days of 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:
A failure to determine an appeal within 10 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 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 41 State Street Albany, New York 12231|
The body designated to determine appeals shall inform the appellant and the Committee on Open Government of its determination in writing within 10 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 Subsection G of this section.
Fees for copies.
The fee for copying records shall be $0.25 per page for photocopies not exceeding nine inches by 14 inches.
A notice containing the title or name and business address of the records access officer and appeals body 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.