On September 1, the Freedom of Information Law, known by many as “FOIL”, turned 40. It’s also the 40th birthday of the Committee on Open Government, which was born as the Committee on Public Access to Records (there wasn’t an Open Meetings Law until 1977). The enactment of FOIL served as the beginning of a new era of accountability; it has been used by thousands of New Yorkers, and the disclosures made in response to their requests have benefitted millions.
To commemorate its four decades, through the good work of the Committee’s legal intern, Lucya Pak, a history, a timeline of sorts has been developed. The timeline describes significant events, such as legislative enactments, as well as key judicial decisions that have served to ensure that FOIL is a positive element in the relationship between the public and the government.
Look forward to more details soon to be announced concerning a November event co-sponsored by the Committee and the Government Law Center at the Albany Law School concerning FOIL’s past - - and its future.
40 Years of FOIL (pdf)