Long Island Open Records Report Card Sparks Policy Changes

A year ago this week, the Long Island Press and the Press Club of Long Island co-published an unprecedented report card grading nearly 200 localities responsiveness to identical public records requests.

The cumulative grade was a C. Since then, some municipalities and agencies that scored poorly made improvements in how they handle Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests, while others did not.

“Suffolk County has reviewed software and is developing a FOIL request/response process for all county departments to access and use,” said a spokesman for the county, which scored a C+. “In addition, the county implemented a search query on the home page of its website in an effort to allow for easier navigation of the site and easier access to FOIL forms.”

The report was released in time for Sunshine Week, an annual, national initiative highlighting the importance of access to public records. Read more…