In analyzing the 10,000 FOIL requests used as a basis for the Report Card, the Public Advocate identifiedseveral key areas where agencies were neglecting their responsibilities under the law:
The process for submitting FOIL requests to City agencies and tracking their status is inconsistent andcan be extremely challenging for the public to navigate.
40% of City agencies lack information ontheir website about where to direct FOIL requests.
Neither 311 n
or the City’s Green Book
For the three months of FOIL data analyzed, nearly 1,000 individuals or groups had not received anapproval or denial determination after more than six months of waiting
one-in-tenrequests that were either ignored or fell through the cracks
. While these non-responses representde facto denials, the lack of firm response impedes the appeal process and legal action.
When City agencies responded to FOIL requests,
response times varied dramatically by agency
.Only 7% of requests to the Department of Education received a response within 30 days, whereas 86%of requests to the Department of Transportation (who received eight times more requests) received aresponse within 30 days.
To help improve the City’s responsiveness to information requests, Public Ad
vocate de Blasio has putforward the following recommendations:
Strengthen the City’s oversight of FOIL responsiveness
by adopting legislation to require monthlyreporting to the City Council and Public Advocate on the status of all FOIL requests, as well as annualreporting to the public
in the Mayor’s Management Report.
Speed requests for the most commonly-sought information
and reduce FOIL officer workload byposting minutes, public schedules and license data online for easy access. Record Access Officers at