Legislators to hash out FOIL policy

by Carol Thompson

For several months, the Oswego County Legislature’s Strategic Planning and Government Committee has been discussing how legislators will access public records.

When the committee meets Monday, legislators will review a draft policy that spells out how legislators can access records.

Currently, legislators must make a request under the Freedom of Information Law. They are not required to pay for records, however, some legislators have reported considerable wait times for information that they needed for consideration of the business before them.

The draft policy will allow the legislature clerk to charge the requestor a fee equal to that which would be charged under the Freedom of Information Act for any request exceeding $5 in total cost, unless such charge is waived in writing by the legislature chair or the jurisdictional committee chair.

The draft also states that if specific records are otherwise protected or confidential by law, rule or regulation, the agency shall advise the clerk and the requestor and the legislature chairman shall make the determination.

During last month’s meeting, Minority Leader Mike Kunzwiler objected to the legislature chairman making the determination as to the confidentiality of records. He said he will continue to raise objections.

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