The Freedom of Information Law, effective January 1, 1978, reaffirms your right to know how your government operates. It provides rights of access to records reflective of governmental decisions and policies that affect the lives of every New Yorker. The law preserves the Committee on Open Government, which was created by the enactment of the original Freedom of Information Law in 1974.
An acknowledgment to the requestor with an estimate of when the records will be available shall be reasonable under the circumstances of the request. This date is determined by the number of documents you request, their format, their availability, the time it takes to redact any information that cannot be disclosed pursuant to FOIL, the time it takes to assemble the documents and other factors.
The acknowledgment shall be given within five business days of receipt of a request by:
- Informing a person requesting records that the request or portion of the request does not reasonably describe the records sought.
- Granting or denying access to records in whole or in part.
- 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 twenty business days after the date of the acknowledgment, or if it is known that circumstances prevent disclosure within twenty 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
- If the receipt of the request was acknowledged in writing and included an approximate date when the request would be granted in whole or in part within twenty business days of such acknowledgment, but circumstances prevent disclosure within that time, providing a statement in writing within twenty 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.
- If the records you request require a fee to be paid, you will be notified before the records are released to you. Unless a different fee is otherwise prescribed by statute, Public Officers Law Section 87(1) authorizes an agency to charge a fee of 25¢ per copy for copies of records up to 9 inches by 14 inches, or the actual cost of reproducing a record. In determining the actual cost of producing a record, an agency may include only: an amount equal to the hourly salary attributed to the lowest-paid agency employee who has the necessary skill required to prepare the requested record(s) if at least two hours of agency employee time is needed to prepare a copy of the record requested; the actual cost of the storage devices or media provided to the person requesting complying with such request; and the actual price to the agency of engaging an outside professional service to prepare a copy of a record, but only when an agency's information technology equipment is inadequate to prepare a copy if such service is required to be used to prepare the copy.
- Once the requested records are prepared, you may receive the records via email (preferred method), fax, paper, CD/DVD, or USB. Records are available for inspection, by appointment, on business days between 9 am and 4:30 pm at the Town Clerk's Office. You may schedule an appointment for in-person inspection of records by calling 518-356-1980
When Submitting a FOIL Request
- Be as specific as possible in describing the requested records. Include relevant dates, names, descriptions, etc.
- Specify whether you would like to inspect the records or have copies of the records sent to you.
- If records are available, specify how you want them sent, i.e., via U.S. mail, email (no charge), or fax. We will notify you of any charge for reproducing such records before they are sent to you.
- Include your email, mailing address, and fax number, as well as a telephone number where you can be reached during business hours if it is necessary to clarify your request.
- Please note that the agency is not required to create a new record in response to FOIL requests.
Additional Information & FAQs
Visit the New York State - Freedom of Information Law page for more details.
Records are available for inspection and copying, Monday through Friday during regular business hours at the Guilderland Town Clerk's office.
Records Access Officer
Lynne M. Buchanan, Town Clerk
5209 Western Turnpike
Altamont, NY 12009
Any person denied access to records may appeal the denial in writing within 30 days.
Such appeal shall be heard by the Town Supervisor of the Town of Guilderland:
Guilderland Town Hall
5209 Western Turnpike
Altamont, NY 12009.