December 20, 2012
The staff of the Committee on Open Government is authorized to issue advisory opinions. The ensuing staff advisory opinion is based solely upon the facts presented in your correspondence.
This will confirm that we are in receipt of correspondence from you, including various handwritten pages, and copies of correspondence that you exchanged with the Village of Clyde.
In response, please note that when an agency indicates that it does not maintain a record, an applicant for the record may seek a certification to that effect. Section 89(3) of the Freedom of Information Law provides in part that, in such a situation, on request, an agency "shall certify that it does not have possession of such record or that such record cannot be found after diligent search."
It is emphasized that when a certification is requested, an agency "shall prepare the certification" it is obliged to do so.
I hope that this is helpful. Unfortunately, I was unable to return your phone call.
Camille S. Jobin-Davis