Town of Wallkill, NY
Orange County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Wallkill 2-28-2001. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town of Wallkill fully supports the policies set forth in the State Freedom of Information Law, also known as "FOIL." The town's policy is that its officials and employees, including department heads, and members of town commissions, boards and committees, comply with the requirements of the law. The town hereby promulgates the following procedures pursuant to Public Officers Law § 87(1) to apply for purposes of administration of the FOIL requirements.
A. 
For purposes of administration of the provisions of FOIL, the Town Clerk is designated as the Records Access Officer for the Town of Wallkill and all agencies, departments, commissions or committees within the Town of Wallkill.
B. 
The Records Access Officer shall be the sole and exclusive individual responsible for the handling of an initial request for information pursuant to FOIL, including any request that is made with regard to records maintained by any department, agency, commission or committee within the Town of Wallkill. Town employees shall be required to direct any individual seeking requests pursuant to FOIL to the Records Access Officer, 600 Rte. 211 East, Town Hall, Town of Wallkill. Any written requests received by town employees, such as a written request sent through the mail, must be forwarded to the Records Access Officer as soon as possible.
C. 
All requests for information pursuant to FOIL must be submitted in writing to the Records Access Officer on a form that is maintained by the Records Access Officer. This form is attached hereto as Form A.[1] In addition to being provided with a copy of Form A, a requestor of information should be provided with a copy of these procedures. If the Records Access Officer receives a written request for information that is not on the proper form (Form A), either through the mail or forwarded from a town employee, the Records Access Officer must send a copy of Form A, as well as a copy of these procedures, to the individual at the address indicated on the written request and advise the individual that the request must be submitted on the attached form.
[1]
Editor's Note: Form A is on file in the Town Clerk's office.
D. 
Upon receipt of a written request pursuant to FOIL, the Records Access Officer must stamp the request as received with a stamp that indicates the date of receipt of the request.
A. 
Within five business days of receipt of the written request for information, the Records Access Officer shall provide a written response to the individual at the address indicated on Form A, which written response shall either:
(1) 
Provide the individual with a date and time that the record(s) requested will be made available to the individual for inspection and copying;
(2) 
Acknowledge receipt of the written request and indicate the approximate date when such request will be granted or denied. This approximate date shall be based upon the Records Access Officer's estimation of the time it will take to obtain the records requested and/or determine whether the records requested are required to be disclosed under the provisions of FOIL. This date shall not be more than 60 days from the date of receipt of the written request for information; or
(3) 
Provide the individual with a written denial of his or her request, with an explanation for such denial.
B. 
Assuming that the written response that is initially provided by the Records Access Officer is the response described in Subsection A(2), the Records Access Officer shall timely provide a written response either granting or denying the request (as described in either Subsection A(2) or (3), above).
C. 
All written correspondence from the Records Access Officer shall be typed, shall be provided on the Town Clerk's letterhead and shall indicate the date that the correspondence is being mailed to the individual.
D. 
Copies of any documents that are provided to the individual for pursuant to FOIL shall only be provided to the individual upon payment of the appropriate fee of $0.25 per page, or such higher fee authorized by law.
E. 
If the record(s) requested by an individual pursuant to FOIL are maintained by one of the town's departments, agencies, commissions or committees, and not in the possession of the Records Access Officer, the Records Access Officer shall forward a copy of the written request to the appropriate department head, and ask that the requested records be forwarded to the Records Access Officer. Under such circumstance, the Records Access Officer shall provide the individual with a written response as described above in Subsection A(2) of this procedure.
F. 
Each department head shall forward to the Records Access Officer any record(s) requested in the written FOIL request, unless the department head determines that the record is not required to be disclosed pursuant to one of the exceptions set forth in Public Officers Law § 87(2) (described in Subsection I below). The department head must respond in writing to the Records Access Officer as soon as is practicable, but no later than 30 days following receipt of the written request from the Records Access Officer.
G. 
If a department head determines that a record requested pursuant to FOIL is not required to be disclosed pursuant to one of the exceptions in Public Officers Law § 87(2), he or she shall so notify the Records Access Officer in writing and shall describe the basis for this determination. All written correspondence from the department head shall be typed, shall be provided on the department's letterhead and shall indicate the date that the correspondence is being forwarded to the Records Access Officer.
H. 
Upon receipt of the requested record(s), or a portion thereof, from a department head, or upon a review by the Records Access Officer of the record(s) requested, the Records Access Officer must independently determine whether the record(s) are exempt from disclosure under one of the exceptions set forth in Public Officers Law § 87(2).
I. 
Records that are not required to be disclosed pursuant to Public Officers Law § 87(2) include, but are not limited to, the following types of records:
(1) 
Records that are specifically exempted from disclosure by statute, such as confidential attorney-client communications (Civil Practice Law and Rules § 4503) and personnel records of police officers as set forth in Civil Rights Law § 50-a.
(2) 
Records which, if disclosed, would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, including, but not limited to:
(a) 
Disclosure of employment, medical or credit histories or personal references of applicants for employment.
(b) 
Disclosure of information of a personal nature when disclosure would result in economic or personal hardship to the subject party and such information is not relevant to the work of the agency requesting or maintaining it.
(c) 
Disclosure of information of a personal nature reported in confidence to an agency and not relevant to the ordinary work of the agency.
(d) 
Information of a personal nature contained in a workers compensation record, except as provided under Workers Compensation Law § 110-a.
(3) 
Records which, if disclosed, would impair present or imminent contract awards, or collective bargaining negotiations.
(4) 
Records that are trade secrets or are submitted by a commercial enterprise or derived from information obtained from a commercial enterprise, which, if disclosed, would cause substantial injury to the competitive position of the subject enterprise.
(5) 
Records compiled for law enforcement purposes, which, if disclosed, would:
(a) 
Interfere with law enforcement investigations.
(b) 
Deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or impartial adjudication.
(c) 
Identify a confidential source or disclose confidential information relating to a criminal investigation.
(d) 
Reveal criminal investigative techniques or procedures, except routine procedures.
(6) 
Records which, if disclosed, would endanger the life or safety of any person.
(7) 
Records that are interagency or intra-agency materials that are not:
(a) 
Statistical or factual tabulations of data.
(b) 
Instructions to staff that affect the public.
(c) 
Final agency policy or determinations.
(d) 
External audits, including, but not limited to, audits performed by the Comptroller and the federal government.
(8) 
Examination questions or answers, which are requested prior to the final administration of such questions.
(9) 
Computer access codes.
(10) 
Photographs, micrographs, videotape or other recorded images prepared under authority of Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1111-a.
J. 
If either the Department Head or the Records Access Officer determine that a request for information pursuant to FOIL must be denied pursuant to Public Officers Law § 87(2), the Records Access Officer shall notify the individual making the request in writing of the denial of his or her request. The written denial must explain the basis for the denial and shall be mailed to the individual at the address indicated on Form A.
A. 
The Town Supervisor shall be the sole individual responsible for the determination of an appeal filed pursuant to Public Officers Law § 89(4)(a).
B. 
Upon receipt of a determination from the Records Access Officer denying, in whole or in part, access to information requested pursuant to FOIL, the individual may submit a written appeal of the determination within 30 days of the date of the written determination. The appeal must be submitted to the Records Access Officer on the appeal form, which shall be maintained by the Records Access Officer as Form B. A copy of Form B is attached hereto.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Form B is on file in the Town Clerk's office.
C. 
Upon receipt of a written appeal on Form B, the Records Access Officer must stamp the appeal as received with a stamp that indicates the date of receipt of the appeal. The completed appeal form must be forwarded to the Town Supervisor, along with the initial written request (Form A); and the written determination denying access, in whole or in part, to the information requested by the individual. The Records Access Officer shall maintain a copy of the written appeal for her records.
D. 
Pursuant to Public Officers Law § 89(4)(a), upon receipt of a written appeal (Form B), the Records Access Officer shall forward a copy to:
The Committee on Open Government
41 State Street
Albany, New York 12231-0001
E. 
The Town Supervisor shall have 10 business days to submit a written response to the individual by certified mail, return receipt requested, which shall indicate whether the appeal is granted or denied and the reason(s) therefor. The written determination of the Town Supervisor shall be typed on the Town Supervisor's letterhead and shall indicate the date that the correspondence is being mailed to the individual. A copy of the Town Supervisor's determination shall be forwarded to the Records Access Officer for her records.
F. 
As provided by Public Officers Law § 89(4)(a), a copy of the Town Supervisor's written determination shall be forwarded by the Supervisor to:
The Committee on Open Government
41 State Street
Albany, New York 12231-0001
G. 
The Records Access Officer, Town Supervisor or a department head may consult with legal counsel in order to obtain advice as to whether a particular record is required to be disclosed pursuant to FOIL. Moreover, such consultation is encouraged when the Records Access Officer, Town Supervisor or department head is uncertain as to whether a particular record falls within one of the exceptions set forth in Public Officers Law § 87(2).