Communications Policies & Procedures

Freedom of Information Law: FOIL

New York State's Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) pertains to the public's right to review certain government records. The Committee on Open Government is an office of the New York State Department of State, which oversees all aspects of FOIL across the state. A request to see records may be made via the United States Postal Service or email. Whenever possible, SUNY Delhi will supply electronic records in response to email requests. All record requests should be as specific as possible so that the college may easily identify which records maintained by SUNY Delhi are responsive to the inquiry.

All FOIL requests may be addressed to:

Joel Smith
Vice President for College Relations & Advancement
Bush Hall 142
SUNY Delhi
Delhi, NY 13753
607-746-4522
smithjm@delhi.edu 

 

FOIL Frequently Asked Questions

What happens to requests when received?

Requests are date stamped and recorded for our records and the department or office responsible for the records sought is notified of a request for those records. The department or office will then identify and locate the records requested. These are reviewed according to the request and compliance with the Freedom of Information Law. The materials are duplicated and sections that are determined to be non-releasable are blacked out. Dated or lengthy records may take some time to assemble.

How soon can I expect an answer?

The records access officer will mail or email the requestor an acknowledgement within five business days of receipt of the request. If time to research or compile the records requested is required, the requester may be informed that a response will be provided within 20 business days. If notice of completion of the request has not been received within 20 business days, the requestor should contact the records access officer listed above.

What items are exempt from disclosure?

Public Officers Law Article 6, Section 87(2), includes conditions for denial of access. Some of the most common requests that involve exemption from disclosure are:

  • Anything that may result in an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy (for example: home telephone numbers, home addresses, and Social Security numbers)
  • Trade secrets – records that, if released, could cause harm to the competitive position of a business or enterprise
  • Information gathered for law enforcement purposes which, if disclosed, could interfere with due process
  • Lists of names and addresses which would be used for commercial or fundraising activities

Please be advised that the Freedom of Information Law pertains to access to existing records. SUNY Delhi is not required to create a record containing information sought when one does not exist, or to compile existing records.

What if I want to appeal a determination that some or all of the records that I have requested are being withheld?

When SUNY Delhi does not respond timely to a FOIL request, or if a request for access to records has been denied in whole or in part, an appeal may be filed with the FOIL Appeals Officer. An appeal should be sent in writing to the following address:

FOIL Appeals Officer
State University of New York
State University Plaza
Albany, NY 12246

Once an appeal is received, the FOIL Appeals Officer will mail an acknowledgement of its receipt to the individual filing the appeal. The FOIL Appeals Officer will conduct an independent review of the records that were withheld.

The FOIL Appeals Officer will issue a final determination. If the determination is to release records, the individual filing the appeal will be notified of the cost of reproducing the records and, alternatively, where he or she may review the records.