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FOIL- AO-18872


From: Jobin-Davis, Camille (DOS)
Sent: Tuesdav. April 24, 2012 3:31 PM
To:
Cc:
Subject: RE: FOIL - medium

Dear

There is, as yet, no case law that addresses the issue that you have raised, namely whether an agency has authority to aggregate requests for electronic records for purposes of calculating fees for copies of records.

From my perspective, every law must be implemented in a manner that gives reasonable effect to its intent. In its statement of legislative intent, section 84 of the Freedom of Information Law states that "it is incumbent upon the state and its localities to extend public accountability wherever and whenever feasible." Accordingly, whether it would be reasonable to aggregate requests for calculation of fee purposes would depend, in my mind, on
whether the requests were received within a short period of time, and possibly whether the requests pertained to the same or similar records.

When requests are made for paper copies of records less than 9 x 14 inches, of course, there is no basis in law to charge for anything other than $.25 per page.

Given the facts that you presented, namely that requests are submitted one month apart, for records generated within the last month, it would not seem reasonable, in my op1n1on, for an agency to aggregate such requests when responding, or for an agency to group together such requests when calculating fees for copies.

Camille


Camille S. Jobin-Davis, Esq.
Assistant Director
NYS Committee on Open Government
Department of State
99 Washington Ave, Suite 650
Albany NY 12231
Tel: 518-474-2518
Fax: 518-474-1927
www.dos.ny.gov/coog
Please note my new email address: camille.jobin-davis@dos.ny.gov