New York State
Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)
Disclaimer: The following material is for informational purposes. SUNY Cobleskill does not offer the following material as legal advice of any kind.
New York State's Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) pertains to the public's right to review certain government records. The text of the law can be found here. The Committee on Open Government is an office of the New York State Department of State, and they oversee all aspects of FOIL across the state. More information on the Committee on Open Government can be found here. Freedom of Information Law, Frequently Asked Questions and more information on how to make a FOIL request can be found here.
Some information may be downloaded directly from this Web site. If you do not find the information you seek here, you may request information via US Postal Service or e-mail. Whenever possible, we will supply electronic records in response to email requests.
Please be as specific as possible when requesting records, so that we may easily identify which records maintained by SUNY Cobleskill are responsive to your request.
Requests may be addressed to:
Director of Communications & Marketing
200 Knapp Hall
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 responsiveness 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 e-mail the requestor an acknowledgment within five business days of receipt of the request and advise that the requestor may expect a response 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?
Article 6 of the Public Officers Law, Section 87, includes nine 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 fund-raising activities.
Please be advised that the Freedom of Information Law pertains to access to existing records.SUNY Cobleskill 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?
Where SUNY Cobleskill does not timely respond 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:
Jeff Perez, University 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 acknowledgment 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.