Village of Old Field, NY
Suffolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Old Field 7-17-2018 by L.L. No. 1-2018.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law also repealed former Ch. 84, Public Records, Access to, adopted 10-9-1974 by resolution.
A. 
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.
B. 
These regulations are adopted pursuant to § 87 of the Public Officers Law (Freedom of Information Law) and the rules and regulations promulgated by the Committee on Open Government, and are intended to provide a streamlined and guided process for obtaining access to public records.
C. 
Personnel shall furnish to the public the information and records required by the Freedom of Information Law, as well as records otherwise available by law.
D. 
Unless more specifically provided for herein, the procedures for requesting access to public records, and the Village's responsibilities and obligations with respect to providing access to public records shall be governed by the provisions of the Freedom of Information Law.
E. 
Any conflicts among laws governing public access to records shall be construed in favor of the widest possible availability of public records.
A. 
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Old Field is responsible for ensuring compliance with the regulations herein and designates the following individual as Records Access Officer: Village Clerk, 207 Old Field Road, Old Field, New York 11733; Email: [email protected]
B. 
The Records Access Officer is responsible for ensuring 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.
C. 
The Records Access Officer shall ensure that personnel:
(1) 
Maintain an up-to-date, reasonably detailed list by subject matter of all records in the Village's possession, whether or not records are available pursuant to Subdivision 2 of § 87 of the Public Officers Law, and shall post the current list on the Village's website, with a link to the website of the Committee on Open Government;
(2) 
Assist the requester in identifying requested records, if necessary, and, when appropriate, indicate the manner in which the records are filed, retrieved or generated to assist persons in reasonably describing records;
(3) 
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;
(4) 
Upon locating the records, take one of the following actions:
(a) 
Make records available for inspection; or
(b) 
Deny access to the records in whole or in part and explain in writing the reasons therefor;
(5) 
Upon request for copies of records:
(a) 
Make a copy available upon payment or offer to pay the established fees; or
(b) 
Permit the requester to copy these records;
(6) 
Upon request, certify that a record is a true copy; and
(7) 
Upon failure to locate these records, certify that:
(a) 
The Village of Old Field is not the custodian for such records; or
(b) 
The records of which the Village of Old Field is a custodian cannot be found after diligent search.
Records shall be available for public inspection and copying at: Village Hall, 207 Old Field Road, Old Field, New York 11733.
Requests for public access to records shall be accepted and records produced during all hours the Village Hall is regularly open for business.
A. 
Requests for access to records shall be in writing and shall reasonably describe the record or records sought. Requests may be submitted in person or by mail, e-mail or facsimile. Requestors are encouraged to use the forms provided by the Records Access Officer.
B. 
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.
C. 
A response shall be given within five business days of receipt of a request by:
(1) 
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;
(2) 
Granting or denying access to records in whole or in part;
(3) 
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 the 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
(4) 
If the receipt of 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.
D. 
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.
E. 
If a record is maintained in a computer storage system and can be retrieved with reasonable effort, the requester may request that the record be provided in an electronic format.
F. 
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:
(1) 
Fails to grant access to the records sought, denies access in writing or acknowledges the receipt of a request within five business days of the receipt of a request;
(2) 
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;
(3) 
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;
(4) 
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;
(5) 
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;
(6) 
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; or
(7) 
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.
No original records may be removed by the requestor of records from the office where the records are kept.
A. 
Denial of access to records shall be in writing, stating the reason therefor and advising the requester of the right to appeal to the body established to hear appeals, who or which shall be identified by name, title, business address and business phone number.
B. 
If the requested records are not provided promptly, as required in § 84-5 of this chapter, such failure shall be deemed a denial of access.
C. 
Any person denied access to records may appeal within 30 days of a denial.
D. 
The Board of Trustees of the Village of Old Field hereby designates the following individual to hear appeals from denial of access to records under the Freedom of Information Law: Mayor, 207 Old Field Road, Old Field, New York 11733.
E. 
The time for deciding an appeal shall commence upon the receipt of a written appeal identifying:
(1) 
The date and location of the requests for records;
(2) 
A description, to the extent possible, of the records to which the requester was denied access;
(3) 
The name and address of the requester.
F. 
The individual designated to hear appeals shall inform the requester of his or her decision in writing within 10 business days of the receipt of an appeal. Failure to determine an appeal within said 10 business days by granting access to the records sought or fully explaining the reasons for further denial in writing shall constitute a denial of the appeal.
G. 
The individual 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, NY 12231
H. 
The individual designated to hear appeals shall inform the appellant and the Committee on Open Government of his or her 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 in Subsection G of this section.
I. 
The decision by the individuals designated to hear appeals may be challenged in a proceeding commenced pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.
The fees for copies of records shall be as follows:
A. 
The fee for photocopies of records not exceeding nine inches by 14 inches shall not exceed $0.25 per page.
B. 
The fee for photocopies of records exceeding nine inches by 14 inches, or for copies of any other record shall not exceed the actual cost of reproduction. The actual cost of reproducing a record shall be calculated in accordance with the provisions of Public Officers Law § 87(1)(c), except when a different fee is otherwise prescribed by statute.
C. 
The Village may require that the fee for copying or reproducing a record be paid in advance of the preparation of such copy.
D. 
There shall be no fee charged for the search or inspection of records, or for any certification pursuant to this chapter.
E. 
The Village may waive a fee in whole or in part when making copies of records available.
A notice containing the title or name and business address of the Records Access Officer and appeals person or body, the times and places where records are available for inspection and copying, and information on how to request records, shall be posted on the Village's website, with a link to the website of the Committee on Open Government, and shall also be posted in a conspicuous location wherever records are kept and/or published in a local newspaper of general circulation.
If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section, or part of this chapter shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder hereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part hereof directly involved in the controversy in which judgment should have been rendered.