[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Albany 5-16-2005 by Ord. No. 13.32.04. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: Section 3 of this ordinance, as amended 9-19-2005 by Ord. No. 64.91.05, also stated that it would take effect 180 days after its adoption.
The purpose of this chapter is to establish a procedure by which formally adopted policies and administrative rules are collected and maintained in a format that provides easy access for the public. The repository created by this chapter supplements other resources that are maintained independently, such as the Code of the City of Albany.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
- ADMINISTRATIVE RULE
- Binding requirements, rules, regulations or procedures (other than documents or portions thereof exempt from disclosure under Article 6 of the Public Officers Law) that are formally adopted by the Common Council or a City official pursuant to rule-making authority expressly delegated by the Council. An administrative rule must state in its text that it is an "administrative rule."
- BINDING CITY POLICY
- Statements of the Common Council, expressed in a resolution, that are directed to future decision-making or procedure and have binding effect or serve as mandatory approval criteria. Such resolutions must state in their text that they are "binding City policy." Examples include policies establishing requirements for City employees or other matters regulating the City's budget and internal management.
- CITY OFFICIAL
- Any Commissioner, department, office or division head or the administrative entities thereunder.
- DEPARTMENT POLICY
- A requirement or procedure adopted by a City official in the absence of formally delegated rule-making authority that has binding effect on a department, office or division. Examples include department-specific work rules and administrative procedures. Department policies are maintained and documented by the individual department, office or division.
- FORMALLY ADOPTED
- Adopted by Common Council or by another City official pursuant to procedures contained in a delegation of authority from the Common Council.
- Municipal law, enacted by ordinance or local law. Legislation is codified and maintained separately in the Albany City Code.
- NONBINDING CITY POLICY
- A statement of the Common Council's opinion that does not have
binding effect or serve as mandatory approval criteria for future decision-making.[Amended 6-4-2007 by Ord. No. 62.52.07]
The Policy Documents Repository is hereby established within the office of City Clerk. The City Clerk shall retain a copy of all binding City policies and administrative rules. Those documents shall be placed in a repository to be known as the Policy Documents Repository ("PDR"). The PDR shall be available during normal business hours of the City Clerk's office. Costs for providing copies or other services shall be recovered according to the standard practice of the City Clerk's office.
All City officials shall cooperate with and assist the City Clerk in the timely compilation of documents required to be maintained as part of the PDR.
The City Clerk shall compile and maintain such additional copies of the PDR as may be necessary for placement in all branches of the Albany Public Library to be maintained as reference material for public use.
The City Clerk shall create an index of documents in the PDR, organized by subject matter and by any additional methods deemed appropriate by the City Clerk, to assist citizens with identifying and locating documents. The City Clerk may also, at his or her discretion, provide automated tools for searching documents.
All City officials that adopt or amend documents required to be retained in the PDR shall submit a copy of those newly adopted or amended documents to the City Clerk for inclusion in the PDR. It shall be the responsibility of each City official adopting or amending such documents to furnish the City Clerk with a copy of any new or amended documents, including information concerning any items that are repealed, within two weeks of such adoption, amendment or repeal.
All documents submitted for inclusion in the PDR shall be submitted in both paper and electronic form, using the format specified by the City Clerk.
Although retaining flexibility in the format of individual policy documents is preferred, the City Clerk is authorized to establish a standard format for documents that are retained in the PDR, to facilitate compilation and use of those documents by the public. Bureaus are authorized to reformat documents to comply with the City Clerk's requirements without engaging in rulemaking procedures, so long as the reformatting does not result in substantive changes.
Documents kept in the PDR are not legislation. Rules and policies establishing requirements for City employees or other matters regulating the City's budget and internal management are binding on City bureaus and employees. Administrative rules are binding pursuant to the delegation of authority under which the rules were adopted.
Documents required to be filed in the PDR represent a small percentage of the documents used in the performance of the City's business. Nothing in this chapter is intended or shall be construed as limiting the availability or effect of documents that are not required to be filed in the PDR.