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FOIL AO 18364

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From: Freeman, Robert (DOS)
Sent: Friday, January 14, 2011 11:54 AM
Subject:    RE: Oversized Document Request

From my perspective, there may be three options. First, if the record can be duplicated in house, I believe that the Town would be obliged to do so, in which case, it could charge a fee based on the actual cost of reproduction.  Second, if the Town does not have the equipment needed to copy the document, the Town could have it reproduced by an outside professional service.  In that circumstance, it could charge based on the fee imposed by the private service, plus whatever other actual costs may be borne by the Town, i.e., the cost of mailing, a delivery service, etc.  The Town would be required to indicate to the applicant the cost in advance of having a copy made.  Those first two options relate to the provisions of section 87(1)(c) of the Freedom of Information Law.  And third, it has been suggested on many occasions in recent years that the applicant or the agency may photograph the record.  If the Town does so, again, the fee would involve actual cost.  If the applicant has a camera, particularly a digital camera, he/she could photograph the document and print it at whatever size would be preferred.  The third option, when it is feasible, is generally the optimal course for both the agency and the applicant.

I hope that I have been of assistance, and happy new year to all.

Robert J. Freeman
Executive Director
Committee on Open Government
Department of State
One Commerce Plaza
Suite 650
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12231
Phone:  (518)474-2518
Fax: (518)474-1927
Website: www.dos.ny.gov/coog/index/html