New York Governor Kathy Hochul has announced new actions to increase transparency and access to public records.
Building on efforts she announced in October 2021 to streamline the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) process, Hochul directed the state’s Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) to issue a Request for Quotes (RFQ) to secure a software platform that will accelerate and streamline the process for receiving, processing, and responding to FOIL requests.
“On my first day in office, I pledged to turn the page on the old ways of Albany and restore New Yorkers’ faith in their government,” Gov. Hochul said in a press release.
Gov. Hochul’s administration has made several improvements to the FOIL process, including directing agencies to proactively post commonly-requested documents online and allowing agencies to respond to FOIL requests without Executive Chamber review. The overall goal is to provide more public records on a faster timeline and reduce the backlog of thousands of requests her administration inherited.
“We’re taking meaningful action to streamline the process to access public records, so journalists and members of the public can more easily access information to which they are entitled. While there’s always more work to do, I’m proud of the steps my administration has taken to increase transparency and accountability in New York State government,” Gov. Hochul said.
Following Gov. Hochul’s announcement, ITS issued an RFQ for a software platform that will serve to accelerate and streamline the FOIL process. The new software platform will use technology to streamline the receipt, processing, and response to FOIL requests, allowing a more efficient and expeditious process.
“[This] is a major step forward for all New Yorkers who believe that state government should be open, honest, transparent, and accountable. I commend Governor Hochul for her commitment to breaking down the barriers to sharing information and data with the public in a timely way. ITS is proud to assist the Governor in executing her vision of what is possible when openness and transparency become the rule and not the exception,” said ITS Chief Information Officer Angelo “Tony” Riddick.
ITS expects a contract to be finalized in the coming weeks.