The process of securing public records from state agencies could soon become quicker and less politicized, as the result of steps ordered by Gov. Kathy Hochul.
On Thursday, the administration announced that it would no longer require records requests sent to agencies to be filtered through the executive chamber, was directing agencies to publicly disclose frequently requested information that had a public significance and will review agency requests to fill FOIL staffing compliance needs.
“The changes we’re announcing today bring us closer to creating the kind of government that New Yorkers deserve, and we’ll continue to build on this progress,” Hochul said in a statement.
Additionally, the state publicized increased transparency plans from more than 70 state agencies, which were requested last month by the governor’s office.
The changes will not resolve all the shortcomings of the state’s transparency laws, but they do address some of the critiques raised by good government activists and journalists covering the Capitol. For example, records requests often got delayed or sometimes outright rejected as the result of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s policy of having politically sensitive requests filtered through the executive chamber. There has also been a long running call for the proactive disclosure of records, including by groups like Reinvent Albany.