From: Robert Freeman
Date: 7/14/2003 10:35:24 AM
I have received your inquiry concerning access to an electronic repository
of County employees'
home addresses and presumably home phone numbers.
In this regard, §89(7) specifies that nothing in the Freedom
of Information Law requires the
disclosure of the home address of a present or former public officer or employee. Although the
law does not include specific direction concerning the disclosure of public employees' home
phone numbers, it has consistently been advised that home phone numbers, as you suggested,
may be withheld on the ground that disclosure would constitute an unwarranted invasion of
personal privacy. Numerous judicial decisions indicate, in essence, that those items of personal
information that are irrelevant to the perfomance of public employees' official duties may be
withheld under the exception pertaining to unwarranted invasions of privacy. In my view, the
home phone number of a public employee has no relevance to the performance of his or her
official duties and, accordingly, may be withheld.
I hope that I have been of assistance.
Robert J. Freeman
NYS Committee on Open Government
41 State Street
Albany, NY 12231
(518) 474-2518 - Phone
(518) 474-1927 - Fax
Website - www.dos.ny.gov/coog/coogwww.html