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September 24, 1997

 

 

 

Hon. Diane Rumrill-Hall
Town Clerk
Town of Canajoharie
12 Mitchell Street
Canajoharie, NY 13317

The staff of the Committee on Open Government is authorized to issue advisory opinions. The ensuing
staff advisory opinion is based solely upon the information presented in your correspondence.

Dear Mr. Rumrill-Hall:

I have received your letter of August 28, as well as the materials attached to it.

You referred to a form entitled "Notice of Intention to Examine Public Employment Records" and
asked whether that form is still used.

The form to which you referred was prepared pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law as
originally enacted in 1974. Under that version of the Law, payroll information identifying employees by
name, address, title and salary were only available to the news media. Further, the names of law
enforcement officers and employees did not have to be disclosed. The original statute, however, was
repealed and replaced with the current version of the Law, which became effective on January 1, 1978.
The pertinent provision concerning payroll information has since then required that each agency maintain
a record setting forth "the name, public office address, title and salary of every officer or employee of the
agency." As such, there is no distinction made between law enforcement officers and employees and other
public employees of an agency. Moreover, the payroll record is available to any person and not only
members of the news media.

Because of the change in the Freedom of Information Law, it is suggested that the form in question
be ignored and discarded.

I hope that I have been of assistance.

Sincerely,

 

Robert J. Freeman
Executive Director
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