FOIL Information


Request Department of Public Service Records Through The New York State Freedom of Information Law


[Overview] [Request Records] [FOIL Process] [Right to Appeal] [Subject Matter List] [Agency FOIL Regulations] [Helpful Tips]

Overview
The Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”), Article 6 (Sections 84-90) of the NYS Public Officers Law, provides the public right to access to records maintained by government agencies with certain exceptions.

“Record” means any information kept, held, filed, produced or reproduced by, with, or for this agency, in any physical form whatsoever including, but not limited to, reports, statements, examinations, memoranda, opinions, folders, files, books, manuals, pamphlets, forms, papers, designs, drawings, maps, photos, letters, microfilms, computer tapes or disks, rules, regulations or codes.

Learn more about records access and Open FOIL NY.


Request Records

Use the Open FOIL NY online form



Mail a written request to:

Records Access Officer
Department of Public Service
Three Empire State Plaza
Albany, New York 12223


E-mail a written request to:

recordsaccessofficer@dps.ny.gov

Fax a written request to: (518) 486-5710

Submit a request for records in person:

Our main offices are located in Agency Building 3, Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York. Upon entering the main entrance of the building, advise Security Staff that you would like to request records. Security Staff will contact the Records Access Office, and a staff member will provide assistance. Please be advised records require review prior to disclosure. As a result, documents and records will not be immediately available.


FOIL Process
Within five business days of the receipt of a written request for a record reasonably described, we will send you a letter either: making such record available; denying such request in writing; or furnishing a written acknowledgment of the receipt of such request. If you have not received a letter within five business days, please contact us at (518) 486-2661 or recordsaccessofficer@dps.ny.gov.

An acknowledgment letter will provide you with an estimate of when the records you request will be available, which shall be reasonable under the circumstances of the request. This date is determined by the number of documents you request, their format, their availability, the time it takes to redact any information that cannot be disclosed pursuant to FOIL, the time it takes to assemble the documents, and other factors.

If the records you request require a fee to be paid, you will be notified prior to the records being released to you. Unless a different fee is otherwise prescribed by statute, Public Officers Law §87(1) authorizes an agency to charge a fee of 25¢ per copy for copies of records up 9”x 14”, or the actual cost of reproducing a record. In determining the actual cost of producing a record, an agency may include only:


    · an amount equal to the hourly salary attributed to the lowest paid agency employee who has the necessary skill required to prepare the requested record(s), if at least two hours of agency employee time is needed to prepare a copy of the record(s) requested;

    · the actual cost of the storage devices or media provided to the person making the request in complying with such request; and

    · the actual cost to the agency of engaging an outside professional service to prepare a copy of a record, but only when an agency's information technology equipment is inadequate to prepare a copy, if such service is used to prepare the copy.


Once the requested records are prepared, you may receive the records via email, fax, paper, CD/DVD, or USB. Records are available for inspection, by appointment, on business days between 8:30am-4:30pm at the Records Access Office, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223. You may schedule an appointment for in-person inspection of records by calling (518) 486-2661.

Copying fees are not charged to: (1) Federal agencies, New York State agencies (including authorities) or local agencies in New York; (2) other states’ Public Service Commissions or Public Utility Commissions; (3) Consumers, or their designated representatives, for a single copy of their case files; or (4) Requesters, where the records sought total fewer than 20 pages; this 20 page limit applies to requests of the same person, or firm, within any 30-day period.


Right to Appeal
Under provisions of the Public Officers Law you may appeal a FOIL determination. If you desire to submit such an appeal, you must do so within 30 days of the written response to your FOIL request. Please include a copy of the original request for records and a copy of the FOIL response letter you received along with your appeal letter to:

Secretary to the Commission
Department of Public Service
Three Empire State Plaza
Albany, New York 12223

You will be informed in writing of the decision within ten business days of our receipt of such an appeal. Please indicate the FOIL Request Number when corresponding on this subject.


Subject Matter List
The following is a current list of records, by subject matter, that are maintained by this agency. Some of the listed records may be exempt from disclosure pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law.

Subject Matter List



Agency FOIL Regulations
FOIL Regulations for the Department of Public Service: 16 NYCRR Subpart 6-1



Helpful Tips
For more information about FOIL, please visit the New York State Committee on Open Government’s website.

When submitting a FOIL request:

· Be as specific as possible in describing the requested records. Include relevant dates, names, descriptions, etc. See suggested language for a FOIL request from the Committee on Open Government.

· Specify whether you would like to inspect the records or have copies of the records sent to you.

· If records are available, specify how you want them sent, i.e., via US mail, e-mail or fax. We may choose to send the records by U.S. mail, if you have requested a large volume of records, for security or other important reasons. We will notify you of any charge for reproducing such records before they are sent to you.

· Include your e-mail, mailing address and fax number, as well as a telephone number where you can be reached during business hours, if it is necessary to clarify your request.

· Please note that the agency is not required to create a new record in response to FOIL requests.

· Consumers, or their designated representatives, may request a single copy of their case files. Please include the case number and full name. Please note that you are a consumer requesting your own records.

· Many Public Service Commission Records are available on the Document and Matter Management System (DMM), under the assigned case or matter number. To access these records, please use the following instructions:

      · Enter the website at www.dps.ny.gov

      · Choose “Search.”

      · Under “Commission Documents” enter the case or matter number. This will take you to the case or matter on our Document and Matter Management System (DMM).

      · Once you have entered DMM, scroll down to view the filings under the case or matter number.

      · Click on the document you are interested in viewing. You can view the documents for free or make a list of documents you are interested in obtaining from the Department (at $.25 per page).

      · You may use the below templates for a FOIL request by mail, e-mail or fax:

Download FOIL Request Form - Microsoft Word
Download FOIL Request Form - PDF