FOIL AND THE ART OF GETTING DOCUMENTS Back

 

How to FOIL


One of the greatest freedoms we enjoy is the ability to get information from our governing bodies. This ability is called ‘Freedom of Information Law’ (thus FOIL) and we thought it might be helpful to walk you through the process which may otherwise feel daunting.
Say there’s a nearby subdivision proposed and you’d like to know what’s going on.
To look at the subdivision maps, letters from the Town Engineer, DEP etc. you’ll need to look through the file
.

Here’s what you’ll need to do step-by-step:
1. Print up the FOIL form we’ve posted below . It is not necessary to use this or any other form. You may use your own or ask in letter form.
2. Fill in the top of the form. Remember: all information that you give is optional. You can leave everything but the request itself blank if you so choose. Also, if you don’t know what department you’re FOILing the Town Clerk’s office will help you.
3. Bring the FOIL to your Town Clerk.
4. Have the office make a copy. This will cost .25 per page but is useful
.


The Clerk then has five business days to respond.
If your request is denied there will be a reason given and you may appeal that decision.
If you encounter difficulties the Committee on Open Government
has a terrific website: http://www.dos.state.ny.us/coog/coogwww.html
The Director, Robert Freeman, is incredibly knowledgeable and helpful.
That’s it. It’s that simple.
And of course we’re just an e-mail away if you’d like further help.

Foil Form
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