Records Access / FOIL
The City of Albany complies with New York State Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), providing transparency with its legislative actions, and providing the public with access to its government records. By Common Council Ordinance, FOIL requests are accepted by the City Clerk-Albany's official keeper of government records and designated Records Access Officer (RAO).
The RAO assists with research, interpreting/applying FOIL law (in coordination with Corporation Counsel), monitors City Departments for compliance, and interfaces communication with the Requestor. The RAO produces the findings and informs Requestors of any denials. The City's Appeals Officer is provided with information and rationale for denials by the RAO, and after reviewing all information, either upholds the RAO's denial or reverses it.
The City of Albany now accepts electronic FOIL requests. The City uses Gov QA to track and manage submissions. With Gov QA we are providing Requestors with faster response times and automated management, all while providing complete insight. Gov QA is safe and secure as it uses the highest level of security.
All FOIL requests received directly from individuals, or forwarded by other City officials, are logged and reviewed for discoverability in accordance with the law. Requests are disseminated to the appropriate City Departments, who undertake a records search, and return all findings back to the RAO. The process may take up to 20 days.
Note About Requests
Please note that a records search may involve multiple City Departments, and can produce hundreds of pages of documents and/or photographs. Materials are copied at $0.25 per page or charged back to the Requestor at the actual cost to the City. Completed FOIL requests can either be mailed or picked up at the City Clerk's Office.
Tips for Creating an Account & Submitting an Electronic FOIL Request
- Click the create an account button and then follow the prompts creating a user name and password. If you already have a username a password you may log directly into the system
- Once you have created a username and password keep it in a safe place, as you will be required to use it every time you log on to the system. You can log on to the system to check on the status of a request, to create a new request, and/or to modify an existing request
- When creating a request include as much detail about the record as possible, such as relevant dates, names, descriptions, etc.
- Which department of the City of Albany government holds the records you are seeking
- If part or all of the records cannot be emailed, whether you would prefer to have copies made at $0.25 per page, or prefer to inspect the records first and determine which records you desire to have copied
- If the volume of electronic records is so large that these cannot be emailed, whether you would prefer copies at $0.25 per page or would want such electronic records written onto a CD-ROM or floppy disk(s) to be created at a cost of approximately $10 per CD-ROM or disk
- A telephone number and an email address where you can be contacted