Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2011


Freedom of information law, New York State law


All State and municipal governments are required by the New York State Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) to release government documents to the public and the media when requested. Broome County has an active FOIL program which must adapt to continuing changes in technology. Several policy and public management options could help the county better utilize electronic methods while balancing competing pressures, making its FOIL program one of the most efficient and cost effective programs in the state.

This paper reviews literature regarding the competing pressures of: transparency in a democratic society, the legal guidelines governing the release or protection of information, and constantly changing technology. These competing pressures were then reviewed in context with their efforts upon local governments, such as Broome County. The county must balance transparency, state mandated processes, as well as limited staff and financial resources in the most cost effective and efficient manner possible.